23:33 GMT +330 March 2017
    The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) logo is displayed in the lobby of CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia

    Intel Community Worries Trump Won't Believe Them; Others Wonder Why Anyone Would

    © AFP 2017/ SAUL LOEB
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    President-elect Donald Trump's dismissal of a Washington Post story based on statements from anonymous intelligence officials claiming Russia "hacked" the US election has some worrying about the kind of relationship his administration will have with the CIA.

    On December 9, Trump's transition team issued a statement in response to the story, saying, "These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction," and that it was "time to move on."

    (No such weapons, the purported reason for the US war against Iraq in 2003, were ever found.)

    Two days later, the president-elect had tempered his rhetoric somewhat. In an interview with Fox News broadcast December 11, he called the story and the hacking claims "ridiculous" and "just another excuse" from Democrats to avoid taking the blame for their loss.

    Trump distinguished between the intelligence community, who he said he had "great respect for," and Democrats looking for excuses for their loss. It is US Democrats pushing this story, he claimed. 

    The CIA is not trying to overturn the election results, nor have they even clearly said Russian hacking took place, Trump said. Rather, the intelligence community is still fighting it out.

    "If you look at the story and you take a look at what they said, there's great confusion. Nobody really knows," Trump said. "And hacking is very interesting. Once they hack, if you don't catch them in the act you're not going to catch them. They have no idea if it's Russia or China or somebody. It could be somebody sitting in a bed someplace. I mean, they have no idea."

    He also declined to criticize US President Barack Obama for requesting a full investigation into outside election hacking, saying, "I don't want anyone hacking us."

    This may not be enough to sooth the fears of America's enormously expensive intelligence community. Trump has already drawn comment for skipping most of the daily intelligence and national security briefings presidents and presidents-elect are offered, despite entering office amid what intelligence officials have called the "most complex and diverse array of global threats" in decades. The Washington Post points out that Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, Trump's pick for national security adviser, was forced out of his job as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency by Obama administration officials.

    Now, some are wondering whether a productive relationship will ever be possible.

    "Given his proclivity for revenge combined with his notorious thin skin, this threatens to result in a lasting relationship of distrust and ill will between the president and the intelligence community," Paul Pillar, former deputy director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, told the Washington Post.

    He went on to say that Trump's "character and tendencies for vindictiveness" might lead to a relationship worse than the one former President Richard Nixon had with his intelligence agencies.

    "I see the danger of a lasting dysfunctional relationship based on the president-elect's perception that he is being wronged by the intelligence community," Pillar said, the Washington Post reported.

    As intelligence officials hunker down to dig deeper into who may have attempted to interfere in the US election and to what end, the potential for conflict only grows. A report that claims Russia did use cyberattacks to influence the election could pit the intelligence community against the incoming president, who has repeated that there has as yet been no evidence presented of Russian wrongdoing. (On Sunday, however, he did say that although he didn't believe there was Russian hacking, he didn't claim to be certain. "Maybe" they were involved, he said.)

    "When the president-elect's transition team is attempting to discredit the entire intelligence community [IC], it has never been more important for the IC and Congress to guard against possible political pressure or retaliation against intelligence analysts," Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, who sits on the Senate intelligence committee, told the Guardian for a December 11 story.

    "To have the president-elect of the United States simply reject the fact-based narrative that the intelligence community puts together because it conflicts with his a priori assumptions — wow," Michael Hayden, who was the director of the NSA. and later the CIA. under President George W. Bush, told MSN.

    Other former intelligence officers told the Guardian they expected retaliation by Trump after his inauguration next month. The president-elect's approach to the Energy Department, seeking to identify employees who worked on climate change policies, has led to fears of targeted dismissals in other agencies. 

    Of course, some voices go farther than the newly tempered president-elect, claiming outright lies are par for the course with the CIA. Speaking with Radio Sputnik, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray said the CIA investigation is clearly intended to undermine the new administration and promote Russophobia, and that is driven by sour grapes rather than an actual violation.

    Murray, a close associate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange whose diplomatic career began to unravel after he spoke publicly about human rights abuses he witnessed in Uzbekistan, said there is no connection between Russia and the documents WikiLeaks received and revealed. "Nothing came to WikiLeaks from the Russian government or from any proxy… it's simply completely and utterly untrue." He also stressed that the torrent of information was not a "hack," but a leak by an insider.

    "The CIA is simply lying about knowing what's happened and knowing who the people are. They don't know — if they knew, they would act," he said.

    "It is extremely amusing for the CIA to be accusing another country of interfering in domestic elections, when interfering in other countries' domestic elections on scores of occasions is what the CIA has done to effect regime change for the last 70 years. Really, this is almost beyond satire."


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    • avatar
      I think Obama kept most of the Bush people in intel, didn't he? Clapper, Ashton Carter, Brennan,

      Also, don't hear about this much anymore.
    • avatar
      Yes, I watched the full interview by Fox News, reproduced here (28'):


      What a man! What an extraordinary human being. And so funny, when he explained that he was bright enough so as not needing the intel community to repeat to him the same things numerous times, that just once was enough for him to understand. They come to him with "Nothing to report so let us repeat to you what we told you before". He said to them "come back to me when you have something new to report". Truly funny the way he expresses himself.
    • avatar
      Some of his words:

      "I'm, like, a smart person. I don't have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years, I don't need that. But I do say, 'If something should change, let us know.'"

      "In the meantime, my generals are great — are being briefed. And Mike Pence is being briefed, who is, by the way, one of my very good decisions,"

      "But if they're going to come in and tell me the exact same thing that they tell me — you know, it doesn't change, necessarily. Now, there will be times where it might change. I mean, there will be some very fluid situations. I'll be there not every day, but more than that. But I don't need to be told, Chris, the same thing every day, every morning — same words. 'Sir, nothing has changed. Let's go over it again.' I don't need that."
    • Adrienne Adonis
      The Dems are sore LOOSERS and a bunch of whining pansies who can't take defeat. Trump supporters could not have been swayed by any BS emails story. Trump supporters are disgusted with the present administration , are disgusted with Hillary following in Obama's foot steps and most American citizens are disgusted with socialistic liber progressive policies and they said screw being a world citizen. That is why Trump won not because of any emails hacking. The Dems are fabricating this email hack story only to discredit Trumps presidency. Notice the emails hack story is front line news now since Jill Stein recount booted her in the azz ........
    • Gary F.
      The global intelligence community is increasingly turning out to be more like a global fascist movement. Having acquired quite a lot of absolute power on the supranational level, these guys, without almost anyone to guard them and absolutely no visibility or mandate acquired from the "Demos", they have mostly been celebrating intoxicated and grown to be also something like global oligarchy, like someone rightly said recently. While challenging that kind of beast may not be something any single person can do, the history and time does actually work against them. Therefore, the absurdity of the matters should perhaps be seen more like a transformation process. A process and a transformation that no/one likes to discuss about or acknowledge that there is one. Some all falling back to hardcore nationalism, yet that maybe is not such a good idea, some are even looking for more modern alternatives to implement limited mandate sovereignty, something like territorial sovereignty was largely implemented and accepted after the horrors of previous global beast.
    • avatar
      Darrell R
      Way to go Trump. The CIA knows what position he has on things and they want to sway him into buying their agenda. He knows they are trying to brainwash him.

      His response to the Washington Post anonymous CIA reports on Russian hackers story was,"These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction." That was the exact same thing I wrote when commenting on that article, so I am proud of him for saying that. Trump, keep up the good work on that.
    • avatar
      Darrell R
      CIA has their work cut out for them this time. He is not going to take any crap. He will tell them to come back when they have something worth reporting, and it better be intelligent.
    • supportin reply toGary F.(Show commentHide comment)
      Gary F., thanks very much for your clear-eyed and succint comment. I, like you, have spent much time enjoying the writings of Anthony Cave Brown on "C"'s direction of MI6 during WW II, Philip Knightley's writings on the Cambridge Five (which turned out to be six) and Kim Philby's autobiographical writings, as well as John le Carre's amusing but insightful novels on the trade of spycraft. In all instances of intelligence organisations in action, what makes of these civil servants a commendable and useful team is firm leadership with clear goals forcefully stated.

      I believe President Trump is well up to the task. It would surprise me if it took him more than three or four meetings and some vigorous housecleaning to put the locomotive of American intelligence back on the track for the benefit of our allies and to earn the respect and caution of our adversaries who for now seem to be exclusively the terrorist, black market and criminal syndicates not Russia, not Red China nor the other coalitions of lawful world powers.

      It would be interesting to be privy to President Putin's thoughts on the present calamity and changing of the guard in the West. I look forward to his memoirs when they are written if I am still inhabiting this world when they are published.
    • avatar
      If the CIA wants to be respected as a valued asset it must first earn that right by showing the correct allegiance, from a company perspective a new board is preparing to sweep clean the old garbage and start afresh.
      Whilst the old advisors keep plugging the old worn contested and proven obsolete rhetoric whilst bearing the middle finger to the new board.

      For an intelligence group that's about as dumb as it gets folks!!? in the business world those advisors would be immediately 'fired' with a rather rude letter of dismissal.

      Unfortunately the CIA has become the driving force of the Democratic party as the party has been overtaken by radical neocon CIA fostered and trained party leadership and even rank and file members.

      Just as the UN and the EU has been taken over by neocon activists which is essentially those dedicated to western world dominance at any price and any cost.

      The key question is why is there such desperation and radicalisation in the Democrat party leadership and some elements of the Republican party???

      Extremists like McCain who goes on International cable TV and claims Putin is a thug and the US must not form a working relationship with Russia!!? in case its been forgotten after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 the new non communist constitution was written by US lawmakers to guide Russia into there new world experience compatible with the Western nations.

      Has no one told McCain Obama and Clinton yet?? to call Putin a thug when the majority of the worlds population respects dearly Putins fight against terrorism and his saving of ravaged Christian communities by the very thugs McCain supports and does selfies with fully illustrates the mans total lack of character.

      Again to gain respect the CIA should have shown its displeasure to extremists like McCain and refused to set up ISIS for him to plunder and murder the middle east rather than face that the Israel situation needs to be solved not continued to be used as a centre piece of divide and rule power.
    • avatar
      Darrell Rin reply toivanwa88(Show commentHide comment)
      ivanwa88, it has been disturbing to listen to McCain interject with such hateful and disrespectful comments about such a respectable leader and nation. The one thing I did like about it was the fact that this man with such low views was so upset, he was practically jumping up and down like an angry child during one of his interviews. This shows how worried he is that the new administration might not be so anti Russian and just might stop attempts to derail Russia's real progress in the fight against terrorism.
    • avatar
      CIA the servant assasins for the plutocrats dirty laundry
    • avatar
      The intelligence community has been WRONG for the last 60 years. I wouldn't listen to them either.
    • hp b
      The CIA rank and file no doubt detest PC Obama's CIA appointments. Just as the rank and file police, military, FBI, etc., etc., etc all detest Obama and their own PC Bosses Obama forced into power.
      If these contrary to the health of the Republic snakes in the grass don't begin to support President Trump, they're gonna have to 'pay the piper' and it's really gonna hurt.
      Heads will no doubt literally roll..
    • avatar
      does WMD ring a bell? trump can trust the CIA when they start being truthful.
      How many times have we "the people" been fed their bs. I hope President Trump
      does not just believe everything the globalist at CIA tells him till he can drain them
      out of the swamp. The patriots at CIA need to give him some help, best chance in
      30 years.
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