18:25 GMT28 May 2020
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    Donald Trump and the US intelligence community have gotten off to a rough start. Journalist Evgeny Krutikov suggested that relations between the US president and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) could well become the most complex in the agency's history, adding that Trump "risks becoming too dependent" on Langley.

    "Something similar happened when John F. Kennedy was president. He trusted the US intelligence community too much and the latter decided that it could manipulate political power in the country. Nothing of that sort will happen to Trump, but he is being nudged to uncritically perceive any data presented by the CIA," the journalist wrote for Vzglyad.

    Trump has alternated between comparing intelligence agencies to "Nazi Germany" and saying that he is "a big fan." The US president has lately tried to improve relations with the US intelligence community when he visited CIA headquarters as his first official act in office. Trump pledged "a thousand percent" support for the agency, accusing the media of stirring up trouble between them.

    Trump described the visit as a "great meeting," referring to CIA employees as "amazing people." However, the speech prompted former CIA chief John Brennan to say that he was "deeply saddened and angered at Trump's despicable display of self-aggrandizement," adding that the US president "should be ashamed of himself."

    ​Krutikov warned that Trump will have to tackle several challenges when dealing with the US intelligence community. The journalist said that the US president could fall into a trap typical of civilians who "start admiring people in uniform too much."

    Krutikov further mentioned that Trump could become "too infatuated" with covert operations. The journalist described this as a "psychological trap for elected officials who lack certain background. They tend to think that the world is ruled through sophisticated operations executed by secret agents carrying a gun in their pocket and poison in their watch."

    In this scenario, intelligence agencies cite unnamed sources as a "lock-pick" since policy makers will not check whether such sources exist or if they can be trusted.

    "Countless major political decisions were made based on data faked by the intelligence community. The risk that mid-level CIA officials will decide to tweak policies of the new administration, if not manipulate [the Trump team] is considerable," Krutikov said.

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    Tags:
    intelligence agencies, intelligence community, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), John Brennan, Donald Trump, United States
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