Former U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted a photo three years ago that baffled U.S. intelligence experts because it was classified as “secret.”
Radio QuotesNPRThe picture shows a rocket that exploded on a launch pad in the depths of Iran.
The image was so clear that at first some thought it might not have been taken from a satellite.
Aerospace experts at the time reported that this was done using one of America’s most valuable intelligence agencies, a secret spacecraft called “USA 224,” widely believed to be a multibillion-dollar reconnaissance satellite.
Now, three years after Trump’s tweet, the National Reconnaissance Office has officially declassified the original photo, and the declassification came as a result of an NPR request under the Freedom of Information Act.
Many details of the original photo remain unknown, but it shows that Trump posted some of America’s most valuable intelligence on social media, says Stephen Aftergood, classification and classification specialist for the Federation of American Scientists.
Aftergood says Trump was interested in sensitive intelligence about Iran and the first thing he would do would be to tweet it.
The disclosure comes just days after Trump announced he would run for president in 2024, and follows the August confiscation by the FBI of crates of more than 100 classified records stored at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort during Florida.
According to The Washington Post, some of these documents are related to Iran.
According to reports, Trump first saw the photo as part of a daily intelligence briefing the morning after the failed Iranian launch.
After he posted the photo on Twitter, Trump said he did nothing wrong, telling reporters at the time, “We had the photo and I posted it, which I have every right to.”
Source: US agencies + media