Jan 20, 2017 - Politics & Policy

7 of Trump's new, top-secret powers

Greg Ruben / Axios

As president, Trump can ask for briefings on some of the nation's biggest mysteries and top secrets. Although we don't know all the top secret details, here's some of the information he has access to, rounded up by Politico.

  1. He controls the Kill List - Although political assassination is illegal, Trump will authorize lethal drone strikes on suspected terrorists in areas like Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan. He also has the option to watch the "kill videos." The exact process is secret, but Trump would have the power to alter the rules without the public knowing as well.
  2. Extra Top Secret access - Trump will have access not only to Top Secret material, but also to "Special Access Programs" — the most sensitive secrets of the nation. He'll know about U.S. spies and surveillance, intelligence operations, hacking capabilities and more.
  3. He'll know the secret agents - Trump will know which foreign officials are paid to cooperate by the U.S. to and how much they're paid. He'll have the ability to ask for payroll information from any government agency and for information on their work with foreign countries.
  4. Nuclear knowledge - Beside having the infamous briefcase with the nuclear launch plans close by, Trump will also receive every destruction estimate and arsenal detail on the U.S. nuclear program.
  5. Spy satellites, secret aircrafts - Those briefed on the U.S.'s spy satellite capabilities have said it's far more advanced than Americans know. Trump will know everything, including the secrets of Nevada's Area 51, where the U.S. tests their special, secret aircraft.
  6. He can pass secret laws - President Obama passed a top secret law — Presidential Policy Directive No. 29. Nobody knows what the law was about, but Trump will know. He'll also know the contents of dozens of other secret laws passed over the years. These laws give the President power to make moves before the public knows what he's up to, and Trump will have that power.
  7. He'll know about world leaders' personal lives - Trump will now have access to detailed intelligence reports on top-level diplomats and American suspects. These investigative reports can include everything from a person's criminal associations to sexual preferences to what they did last night.
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