In the short term, if the president just ignores the intelligence community that’s obviously extremely dangerous, because the decisions won’t be made based on the facts. But in the long run, you can actually have an impact on the intelligence community itself. So that a young person coming out of a graduate program decides instead of going to the CIA, I’m going to instead go to Goldman Sachs, and make a lot more money anyway.
Outgoing CIA Director John Brennan issued a stern parting rebuke to Donald Trump days before he assumes the U.S. presidency, advising him not to absolve Russia for its recent actions and warning him to watch what he says. The CIA director said Trump needs to be mindful about his off-the-cuff remarks once he takes the oath of office, alluding to his penchant for making broad pronouncements on Twitter.
The Trump dossier is an intelligence file, not a prosecution memo; its purpose is not to prove a case but to point a direction. And as subsequent coverage in the Guardian and Financial Times indicated, its author Christopher Steele is no mere purveyor of gossip. He is a highly respected and experienced former official of MI6, the British foreign intelligence service, where he oversaw the agency’s work in Russia and Eastern Europe for decades.
An unprecedented pre-presidential inauguration feud between Donald Trump and intelligence agencies that soon will be under his command could harm U.S. security if not quickly defused. These disputes could prompt the departure of personnel and lead those who remain to take fewer risks to counter security threats.
Diverging from Trump’s stated aim of seeking closer ties with Russia, Pompeo said that Russia is “asserting itself aggressively” by invading and occupying Ukraine, threatening Europe, and “doing nearly nothing” to destroy Islamic State.
The classified briefings last week were presented to Trump and President Obama by the Director of National Intelligence and the directors of the CIA, FBI, and National Security Agency. The U.S. intelligence chiefs included a classified summary of the material to make Trump aware that it is circulating among federal agencies, senior members of Congress, and government officials.
It is inconceivable that the leader of the free world and commander in chief of the United States would welcome Julian Assange — unless that leader is the bizarre Donald Trump, who invites the WIkileaker into his bedchamber.
What exactly do Trump voters think they’re getting out of the Russian connection? Most simply don’t care. They’ve basically chosen party over country. They dislike Americans who vote Democratic far more than Putin, a distant figure. And most are too busy gloating and rationalizing Trump’s boasts to worry about the Kremlin’s arm lock on the White House.
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been repeatedly warning Trump that “rogue elements” within the CIA are trying to “assassinate” him before he takes office. Trump reportedly speaks to Jones on the phone and watches his videos, and he has previously echoed Jones’ other conspiracy theories and rhetoric.
The right-wing media has spent years holding Putin up as a “better leader” than Obama, which set the stage for Republican opinions to shift in the autocrat’s favor, leading to a nearly 50-point swing in support from conservatives in just over two years.
Right-wing media sought to dismiss news that the CIA concluded that Russia meddled in the 2016 election to actively help Trump by falsely claiming that the report is merely “fake news.”
The CIA’s finding that Putin hacked the 2016 election on Trump’s behalf is extremely dangerous to democracy. Without firing a single shot, the Kremlin is weeks away from installing its puppet in the White House.
Former U.S. intelligence officers, already concerned about some of Trump’s remarks disparaging their work, warned that skipping the daily briefing could leave Trump slow to recognize developing crises.
During the campaign, Trump went so far as to hint that a “400-pound guy at his home in New Jersey” hacked those Democratic emails. Was he trying to frame the nefarious Chris Christie? Now, instead of taking daily intelligence briefings, he’s on a campaign-style tour of rallies, handing out hideous hats.
Outgoing CIA Director John Brennan also said that in dealing with the Syrian crisis, Donald Trump should be cautious in trying to work with Russia.
Castro’s death – which would once have thrown a question mark over Cuba’s future – seems unlikely to trigger a crisis as Raul Castro is firmly ensconced in power.
Representative Mike Pompeo, Trump’s surprise choice to head the CIA, supports the U.S. government’s sweeping collection of Americans’ communications data and wants to scrap the nuclear deal with Iran.
Spies brief him. Multibillion dollar black budgets await him. Television producers invite him to assess the terrorism threat as he did Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “I think we’re even worse today,” Rep. Devin Nunes said, comparing the situation to last year. “I think the threat level is even higher.”
Trump has repeatedly praised the Russian leader in the past, calling him “a leader, unlike what we have in this country.” He also stood by his praise even when MSNBC host Joe Scarborough replied that Putin kills dissident journalists. Trump even predicted the two would “get along very well.” Now, the former director of the CIA says that the real estate mogul could well be “an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.” But Mike Pence shooed away Morell’s condemnation on NBC’s Today, saying that Trump would be a strong leader and that “standing up to Russian aggression is going to be really different under a Trump-Pence administration.”
Whatever Peter Thiel’s motivation in endorsing Trump, the tech billionaire knows from personal experience that one of the Republican’s principal lines of attack on Hillary Clinton is false.
In an April 29 press release the Department of Justice noted that Simmons “falsely claimed he spent 27 years working for the Central Intelligence Agency” and had pleaded guilty “to major fraud against the government, wire fraud, and a firearms offense.”
When Gul Rahman was taken to the “salt pit,” a then-secret CIA prison in Afghanistan, he was given a psychological evaluation by CIA contractor Bruce Jessen.
“Well, the average person might understand it as truth serum, but you know there are ways where you decrease a person’s conscious defenses, and they might be more willing to give up information.”