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The US Intelligence Agencies and Trump

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  • Massena
    started a topic The US Intelligence Agencies and Trump

    The US Intelligence Agencies and Trump

    Trump has a real problem listening to either bad news or news with which he does not agree. And that is hurting the country. Trump is unstable.

    President Trump’s combative relationship with U.S. intelligence agencies has made it difficult for officials to speak candidly to him or the public about national security threats throughout his tenure, particularly those involving Russia, according to current and former officials.

    Blunt talk by officials about threats ranging from North Korea’s nuclear program to Russian election interference has resulted in Twitter-powered fusillades or private tongue-lashings from Mr. Trump—and contributed to his dismissals of senior intelligence officials seen as insufficiently loyal, the officials said.

    The challenges of communicating intelligence that President Trump may not want to hear are on renewed display amid revelations about intelligence assessments that Russia paid bounties to the Taliban to carry out attacks on U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

    The White House said Mr. Trump wasn’t briefed on the intelligence because it was unverified. However, Republican lawmakers have acknowledged it was contained in the daily intelligence brief prepared for the president, and several said they take the potential threat seriously. Mr. Trump has called reports of the intelligence a “hoax.”

    Tensions between Mr. Trump and the intelligence community existed even before Mr. Trump took office. During the presidential transition, Mr. Trump blamed intelligence agencies for leaks of unsubstantiated claims about his relationship with Russia and accused them of acting like “Nazi Germany.”

    But the Russia bounties episode has offered a rare look at the impact of Mr. Trump’s distrust of intelligence agencies, former officials said.

    Mr. Trump is known among intelligence officials to be especially sensitive to issues involving Russia. Marc Polymeropoulos, who was a senior Central Intelligence Agency officer until last summer, said that when a briefer would raise issues related to Russia, “Trump would flip out.”

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