President Trump wages war against U.S. intelligence agencies
President Donald Trump has made attempts to prevent the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from looking at a whistleblower complaint from the intelligence community which describes the President’s constant efforts to pressure Ukrainian President VolodymyrZelensky into investigating the son of former Vice President Joe Biden.
The president has continuously dismissed the whistleblower, questioning the official’s patriotism. It is no longer news that he would often resort to name-calling to achieve his broader campaign of character assassination against former intelligence and law-enforcement officials. He seems to believe that a mythical “deep state” is out to get him.
Trump has strongly detested intelligence agencies since he came into office, and this latest development is sure to haunt the U.S. intelligence community.Trump suggested that it is anti-American to report suspected abuses by a president.Never mind that he made a mysterious decision to withhold nearly $400 million in congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine, while at the same time pressuring Zelenskyto do his bidding.
Kent Harrington who writes for Market Watch alleges “ Trump has relentlessly attacked U.S. intelligence agencies, cozied up to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and divulged secrets to foreign officials, potentially burning high-value sources. This behaviour had already raised serious concerns about whether Trump can be trusted to receive sensitive intelligence at all.”
As a matter of fact, the White House is blocking the whistleblower’s information from getting to Congress, although the law is clear that such notification is compulsory in cases of this sort.
CNN reports that “The inspector general concluded that the whistleblower complaint was ‘credible’ and ‘urgent’ — a level of seriousness that requires the Justice Department to notify Congress. The IG followed this protocol by forwarding the whistleblower’s report to Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, who has refused to share it with Congress.”
President Trump’s continued efforts to challengeAmerica’s institutions of justice present a real threat to public safety. Market Watch cites examples of several occasions in the past where the president has deliberately attempted to undermine the efforts of intelligence agencies.
“FBI agents and intelligence officers rely on the public to help gather leads and serve as informants. A lack of public trust might mean fewer people will come forward to help guard against threats.
In 2017, he compromised a sensitive Israeli intelligence operation in Syria by bragging about what he knew to visiting Russian diplomats.”
The president does not seem to be getting tired of doing this.
“Last month,” Harrington writes, “he [Trump] taunted Iran by tweeting a highly classified image from a U.S. spy satellite, complete with detailed annotations of a missile failure at an Iranian test site. As private-sector analysts immediately pointed out, the image will be of immense value to U.S. adversaries.”
Of course President Trump is certainly not the first US president to have misgivings about America’s spies; however, he is most definitely the only president who has confronted the intelligence community so openly. It appears as though President Trump is deliberately making the job of US intelligence analysts more difficult, and at this time, it has become necessary that other national-security policymakers must support them in providing in-depth, fact-based assessments.