After top national security officials testified at an annual hearing recently, President Trump took to Twitter to publicly insult them. Trump’s outrage came after FBI director Chris Wray, CIA director Gina Haspel, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats gave testimonies on global security threats facing the United States at this time.
Trump became enraged when the officials testified, among other things, that even though Iran does still pose a threat, they are actually cooperating with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that was put forth to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Since this goes against Trump’s claim that Iran is in direct violation of the deal, he immediately lashed out.
Of course, Trump wasn’t finished with just one tweet (is he ever?) and added, “They are testing Rockets (last week) and more, and are coming very close to the edge. There economy is now crashing, which is the only thing holding them back. Be careful of Iran. Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!”
The tweets prompted one FBI agent, who wished to remain anonymous to respond, telling Business Insider, “He’s doing the enemy’s job for them,” referring to the daft comments made by the Commander in Chief.
In an interview with TIME, two intelligence officers lamented about when they had to deliver any news to Trump that might contradict his own beliefs, one comparing him to a toddler, and saying they TRY to avoid such run-ins.
“This isn’t unusual… It’s like when my son threw temper tantrums when I told him he couldn’t do something or if I said something he didn’t like… Of course, my son was three years old at the time and wasn’t sitting in the Oval Office with the nuclear button.”Current FBI agent
Trump has spent much of his time in office seemingly trying to discredit the US Intelligence community in one form or another, from constant questioning of top professionals to twitter tirades which could threaten an entire nation’s security. Glenn Carle, a former CIA covert operative who has spent his career sees it is a much bigger problem for the country and beyond.
“The US intelligence community’s job is to speak truth to power… It’s not to tell the executive what he wants to hear and what supports his positions. But there’s never been a man in the Oval Office who has zero regard for the truth. He is only interested in his own self-aggrandizement. There is nothing else. Nothing.”Glenn Carle
Security experts have added that this type of behavior from a sitting President is a “goldmine” for those wishing to undermine our US intelligence, pointing out that our own President is doing exactly what foreign intelligence systems have been trying to do for decades.