National Security

Trump Had a Temper Tantrum After Intelligence Chiefs Testimony

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Gina Haspel both testified in front of Congress this week where they said many things that Trump doesn't want to hear and, in response, Trump reportedly canceled a meeting with them.

The Daily Beast reports that Trump abruptly canceled his intelligence briefing on Wednesday after their congressional testimony.

The cancellation came a day after CIA Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, along with a number of other senior intelligence officials, discussed their assessment of national security threats in a way that undermined a number of Trump’s recent claims. In an open session before the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday, Haspel said Iran is currently complying with the terms of the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump has called a foreign policy disaster. Coats, meanwhile, said that ISIS remains a threat—a statement that appears at odds with Trump’s assertions that the U.S. has defeated ISIS in Syria.

The next morning, the White House canceled the president’s daily briefing as Trump lambasted his intelligence chiefs on Twitter over their congressional testimony.

What Haspel and Coats said to Congress should be seen as the general conclusion of the national security establishment and intelligence community and the truth, or at least as close as we can get to the truth under our current circumstances. What Trump sputters and blathers on a daily basis is certainly not the truth.

Haspel and Coats told Congress what their respective offices have concluded based on all available evidence because, if they don't, it's their ass on the line -- not Trump's. The intelligence community is directly accountable to Congress in that Congress has the power to investigate their agencies and control over their funding.

The worst thing Trump could do to his intelligence chiefs is fire them for telling the truth to Congress, but then dealing with him would be someone else's problem so is that really much of a threat?

Although he tries to project an air of confidence at all times, Trump is actually a very weak president who does not command respect.

  • waspuppet

    There is no reason to extend Donald Trump even the least benefit of the doubt. Our “liberal” media continue to characterize this as “pushing back” when he has no basis in anything to actually push back. He’s an old man screaming that he did NOT lose his keys and that SOMEONE MUST HAVE TAKEN THEM. That’s all his barking amounts to.

  • Draxiar

    This sounds like a cry for help from the Intelligence Community to Congress.

  • muselet

    And now Donald Trump is insisting Dan Coats and Gina Haspel agree with him and the whole kerfuffle is because the fake news misquoted the intelligence chiefs (despite the fact that their congressional testimony was broadcast live and the 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment is available as a downloadable PDF).

    In the immortal words of Chicolini (Chico Marx) in Duck Soup, “Well, who ya gonna believe, me or your own eyes?”

    This is not healthy.

    –alopecia