17:56 GMT05 April 2020
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    Last week President Donald Trump appointed Richard Grenell, a former US ambassador to Germany, as Acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to oversee the nation's 17 spy agencies and organisations. CIA veterans Philip Giraldi and Larry Johnson explain Trump's move and the liberal media's outrage over it.

    Though US career diplomat Richard Grenell is the first openly gay person to assume the highest intelligence post, the liberal media has somehow fallen short of rejoicing at this fact, and has raised an uproar over what they call Trump's "disastrous choice".

    "Widely disliked by diplomats and journalists, but loved by his boss who's made clear that 'he values loyalty above all', the appointment of the nation's new top intelligence official is a sign that Trump's purge is spreading fast", Vanity Fair wrote on Monday.

    As the former Ambassador was about to fill the boots of his predecessor, Joseph Maguire, the MSM presumed that the US president sacked the latter over the 13 February briefing on Russia's alleged "interference" in the 2020 elections held by Maguire's appointee at the House Intelligence Committee. According to ex-CIA Director John Brennan, the dismissal of the chief spy amounts to a "virtual decapitation of the intelligence community".

    To add more fuel to the fire, Attorney General William Barr is expected to shed light on John Durham review of the IC's "Russia investigation" during a congressional hearing scheduled for 31 March.

    ​'Trump Will Continue to Clean House'

    Philip Giraldi, a former CIA field officer and counter-terrorism specialist, is not very impressed by Donald Trump's pick.

    "The appointment is a disaster as Grenell knows absolutely nothing about intelligence, which means he has no understanding of what is important and what isn't, nor does he know how information is collected and whether it is reliable or not", argues the CIA veteran.

    He elaborates that the DNI position is "the chokepoint whereby information flows from the secret agencies to the policymakers", suggesting that the freshly appointed spy boss will mostly follow Trump's orders.

    Though Giraldi believes that Maguire's firing was a "political move", he stresses that the ex-DNI's analyst Shelby Pierson, who briefed US congressmen about the alleged Russian meddling, "went way beyond the facts as we know them".

    "There is no evidence of a vast Russian conspiracy", the former CIA officer points out. "That means that the Office of National Intelligence blundered and provided the Democratic Congress with information that they immediately used politically against the president. Either way, it was not pretty".

    Commenting on John Brennan's statement, Giraldi opines that the ex-CIA chief is closely tied to the Clintons and the Obamas and "hates Trump", so "his statement should be taken as political even if there is some truth to it".

    The former CIA field officer foresees that "Trump will continue to clean house in the IC": "It remains to be seen what Dunham will come up with, but there clearly was a conspiracy based in the national security state to undermine Trump", Giraldi admits.

    First DNI Chief Was Also a Career Diplomat

    Larry Johnson, a former CIA analyst and blogger, does not agree that Grenell is a bad pick. He recollects that John D. Negroponte, the first US DNI appointed by then-President George W. Bush, was also a career diplomat.

    Additionally, Grenell, who is a "temporary replacement", dealt a lot with US Intelligence Community (IC) elements during his diplomatic service, the former CIA analyst notes.

    At the same time, Trump did not actually sack Maguire: according to White House National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, the former chief spy was serving under the Vacancy Act, and his tenure had come to an end.

    Still, one should admit that the American public is "once again being bombarded with the recycled propaganda that Russia meddled in our 2016 elections and is poised to do the same in 2020", the blogger writes.

    According to Johnson, the outcry in the left-leaning media is primarily triggered by the fear that Trump is ready to go after "dishonest" intelligence and law enforcement officials. Johnson suggests in his blog that "the faux outrage over Trump replacing Maguire is just one indicator of this fear".

    "The Grenell appointment is a clear demonstration that Trump is going to purge Obama loyalists from his administration", the ex-CIA analyst says. "This is something that Trump should have done three years ago. Grenell is in position for 210 days and then will reassume his job as US ambassador. I actually believe Grenell could be the replacement for Mike Pompeo in the State Department. Pompeo, in a second Trump term, would move to the Department of Defence (DOD)".

    Having said that, Johnson adds: "With respect to Grenell, it is not a matter of 'wiping' people out. It is a simple matter of putting people loyal to Trump in senior positions that are not civil service".

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


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