08:15 GMT28 July 2021
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    US President Donald Trump's standoff with the intelligence community leadership formed under the previous Obama, Bush and Clinton administrations continues, Israeli analyst Avigdor Eskin told Sputnik, stressing that Trump is the first president to have risen up against the US establishment.

    Ex-CIA and ex-NSA chief Michael Vincent Hayden has written nothing short of a manifesto, calling upon his former colleagues, including John Brennan, James Clapper, Jim Comey and Robert Mueller, to oppose US President Donald Trump, says Israeli political analyst Avigdor Eskin, commenting on Hayden's book "The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies."

    In his opus the retired Air Force general and former intelligence chief has raised the alarm over Donald Trump's new approach and new foreign strategy, which differ a lot from those of his predecessors.

    "We in the intelligence world have dealt with obstinate and argumentative presidents through the years," Hayden wrote in his op-ed for The New York Times. "But we have never served a president for whom ground truth really doesn't matter."

    Furthermore, Hayden hinted that the US president is up in arms about the American intelligence community: "[Trump] humiliated the attorney general, undercut his national security adviser and engaged in personal vendettas against senior FBI officials."

    Likewise, the former intelligence chief is discontent with Trump's attitude towards Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe. Speaking at ABC's "This Week" in late May, Hayden said that the US president "is simply trying to delegitimatize the Mueller investigation, the FBI, the Department of Justice" presuming that Trump "is willing to throw almost anything against the wall."

    Former CIA and and National Security Agency director Michael Hayden
    © AP Photo / CBS News, Chris Usher
    Former CIA and and National Security Agency director Michael Hayden

    Trump-Driven Elite Change Upsets Ex-US Spy Chief

    According to Eskin, it's not about Trump waging a "war" against the US secret service: what Hayden is really concerned about is the ongoing Trump-driven elite change in Washington, when one "team" is being replaced with another.

    "[Hayden] claims that there was nothing of this sort in US history that a president would have gone against the establishment," the Israeli political analyst emphasized.

    At the same time, Eskin is rather skeptical about the "deep state" concept.

    "There is no 'deep state,' but there is a huge government machine," the analyst pointed out. "The intelligence is stronger now than ever with the budget of $70 billion [provided for the National Intelligence Program (NIP) and the Military Intelligence Program (MIP)]."

    However, while enjoying substantial resources and powerful tools, the US intelligence community lacks good analysis, according to the analyst.

    "The capacity of getting intelligence data through all means is very high. But the problem is with analysis. The CIA's failure with pre-invasion data was not as horribly divorced from reality as their views on the Arab Spring or on the Iranian deal. Their brain center is damaged while the technical capacities are superb," Eskin stressed.

    Despite grim predictions by Hayden, the Trump administration is likely to continue working in the coming years. The Israeli analyst has not ruled out Trump's win in the 2020 presidential race.

    "I made a prediction in the record in August 2015 that Donald Trump would be the next president. Now this sort of prediction is very easy. He is victorious and therefore — very popular in the US," he noted.

    While the former intelligence chief apparently does not understand the US president's logic, Trump is consistently delivering on every promise he had made during the 2016 presidential campaign, Eskin remarked.

    In this context, one may expect that Trump will finally turn to Russia, he added.

    "One can predict that after the November elections but possibly — even before," Eskin opined. "Donald Trump promised to do it and he keeps his word. We saw him keeping his word on Iran [regarding the nuclear deal] and on [the transfer of the US Embassy to] Jerusalem — against the recommendations of many — and he will do it with Russia as well. After the [Mueller] investigation committee finishes the work."

    The views and opinions expressed by Avigdor Eskin and Ekaterina Blinova are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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