Former President Trump's motive for taking classified documents isn't clear. Bill Barr, his own Attorney General, attributes it to Trump's narcissism. Mark Esper, who served as Trump's Secretary of Defense, said that Trump's action not only endangered national security but put service members' lives at risk.
"This cynical attitude has become pervasive in our society. Proper skepticism toward our institutions has turned into endemic distrust, a jaundiced cynicism that says: I’m onto the game; it’s corruption all the way down."
Ellsberg responded to this concern when he was interviewed by Christiane Amanpour three months ago:
"I.F. Stone, the journalist, used to say, 'All governments lie, and nothing they say is to be believed.' That doesn’t mean that everything they say is a lie. It does mean that anything they say could be a lie, and it’s not the last word. You have to look for other sources of information and check it against your common sense."
If the National Weather Service tells me a hurricane is headed my way, "common sense" tells me to take precautions without looking "for other sources of information." Still, I think Ellsberg's advice is generally correct. We should be skeptical without being cynical.