The U.S. has no rules for when the president is a national security threat


President Trump walks toward Marine One at the White House on Thursday. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

On the surface, the latest confrontation between Congress and the White House involves the Trump administration’s refusal to hand over to the House Intelligence Committee a whistleblower complaint deemed an “urgent concern” by the inspector general for the U.S. intelligence community.

But the showdown is really about the government’s inability to cope with an unprecedented problem: what to do when the president of the United States poses a national security threat.

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