Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Trump And His Relationship With The CIA


Former CIA Inspector General John Helgerson writes in a new book, "Getting To Know The President," his account of Presidential briefings and interactions about the malignant former guy. The CIA released Chapter 9 (pdf), which discusses Trump's term in office, and Helgerson's opening paragraph foreshadows what was to come:

"Briefing Donald Trump as a presidential candidate, president-elect, and president during his first few weeks in office presented the Intelligence Community (IC) with greater challenges than it had faced since the Central Intelligence Agency attempted to provide similar support to President-elect Richard Nixon 48 years before. Trump was unique among the dozen presidents who took office since President Harry Truman began the briefing process in 1952 in that he had never served in the military or any branch of government. As a result, he had no experience handling classified information or working with military, diplomatic, or intelligence programs and operations. Trump had traveled abroad but, by his own account, did not often read. Like Nixon, he doubted the competence of intelligence professionals and felt no need for regular intelligence support. Trump declared that he intended to shake up the executive branch, publicly criticized the outgoing directors of national intelligence and the CIA, and disparaged the substantive work and integrity of the intelligence agencies. From the outset, it was clear that the IC was in for a difficult time." (our emphasis)

Aside from Trump's overt hostility to the intelligence community, which he expressed at a summit with Putin in Helsinki in 2018, the CIA and other intelligence agencies must have had grave suspicions about his sycophantic relationship with the Russian thug autocrat, and what leverage Putin had over him.

Helgerson reports that a disinterested Trump received only sporadic Presidential Daily Briefings during the latter part of his term in office, and received none at all after the January 6 insurrection / coup attempt that he inspired and engineered. That the intelligence community considered Trump a clear national security risk almost from the start comes through clearly in this chapter. Long read, but fascinating.


seafury said...

Umm a work acquaintance has already debunked this. Preznident Trump was so far ahead of the lyin, CIA that he didn't need briefings. He gave the briefings.

W. Hackwhacker said...

Seafury -- haha! Was your work acquaintance wearing a MAGA hat and Q shirt by any chance? ;- )

Anonymous said...

"disinterested" not the same as "uninterested"

W. Hackwhacker said...

Anon -- clearly you don't own a dictionary or thesaurus.