National Security

Intelligence Officials Are Concerned About Trump’s Belligerence

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

No, you're not the only ones troubled by despot-elect Donald Trump's decision to turn down intelligence briefings because he's too smart for them.

Members of the intelligence community are also rightfully alarmed that the incoming president doesn't seem to give a damn what they say about anything, particularly his boast that he's too smart for their briefings and his continued denial that Russia helped him win.

The comment, like others that Trump made during the campaign, "is contrary to all that is sacred to national security professionals who work day and night to protect this country," a U.S. intelligence official told NBC News.

The official called it "concerning" that the president-elect has chosen to "impugn the integrity of U.S. intelligence officials" by disputing professional intelligence judgments as false or politically partisan.

We've come an awfully long way from a time when Republicans viciously attacked anyone who dared to question the integrity of people responsible for protecting the nation.

The incoming Trump regime is openly hostile to anyone who sincerely believes in protecting the nation from foreign and domestic threats. Trump and his allies appear to be at war with our own intelligence community and he hasn't even been sworn in yet.

But we can't necessarily say this started with him. Republicans have spent the last couple years publicly claiming our security agencies and the Obama administration were doing very little to stop ISIS while ISIS was actually crumbling. Some Republicans even accused the Justice Department under Eric Holder of being compromised by the Muslim Brotherhood. I'm also reminded of the exclusively-GOP reaction to Operation Jade Helm which, in case you forgot, was suppose to be a secret Pentagon plot to overthrow the state government of Texas by tunneling under local Wal-Marts.

  • TXDem1945

    “Shake things up”
    They should try that where they work; they should try that at church; they should that at home.
    Will they?
    Because they will have to deal with the consequences. Electing Trump to “shake things up” will be, for them, “consequence free”.

  • muselet

    Compare and contrast this:

    A congressional official with knowledge of the issue told NBC News on Saturday that the CIA has concluded that Russia mounted a covert intelligence operation to help Trump win the election.

    Another source briefed on the intelligence told NBC News that the U.S. government has identified specific Russian actors it believes were involved in computer systems hacks — based on intercepted communications, human tips and computer forensics.

    [link omitted]

    and this from John Bolton:

    BOLTON: It’s not at all clear to me just viewing this from the outside that this hacking into the DNC and the RNC computers was not a false flag operation. Let’s remember what FBI director James Comey said dealing with Hillary’s home brew server. He said we found no direct evidence of foreign intelligence service penetration, but given the nature of this, we didn’t expect to. Meaning, a really sophisticated foreign intelligence service would not leave any cyber fingerprints. And yet people say they did leave cyber fingerprints in the hacks regarding our election. So the question that has to be asked is why did the Russians run their smart intelligence service against Hillary’s server but their dumb intelligence services against the election —

    (And, just for fun, add in Reince Priebus’s categorical, head-in-the-sand denial that the RNC’s servers had been compromised.)

    The incoming Trump administration is filled brim-full with people who flatly refuse to question their prejudices. That will redound to the benefit of Russia. And China. And Iran. And various non-state entities like Da’esh.

    This is going to be a long four years.


    • Georgie

      And this: “Asked if, by suggesting it was a “false flag” operation, he was implying
      that Obama was behind the hacks, Bolton responded, “We just don’t

    • Aynwrong

      And they will never take responsibility for any of it. Just like when the Bush Administration ended. The modern day Republican’s ability to live in a fantasy world is staggering.

      • Badgerite

        Fixed ‘news’. Probably puts the FSB operations to shame.

        • Where do you think Murdoch took the playbook from? The KGB/FSB. They are masterful manipulators and Putin is playing Von Clownstick like a violin.

          • Badgerite

            I hope the GOP develops a bit of a patriotic spine about this. McConnell did make a statement rebuking the Puppet Elect for attacking US intelligence services. That’s a start. But not nearly enough for my money.

          • McConnell will have to do a hell of a lot more than just that. He pressured the Obama Administration to not release the information about the hacking before the election and then his wife gets a cabinet position. As far as I’m concerned he’s a traitor.

    • Badgerite

      Comey simply opined that Clinton’s server was hacked because….well he gave no real reason. Just because. There was no evidence of a hack. And personally I think it would NOT have been a very tempting target for the Russian FBS as any truly sensitive information would not likely be found there. Anything truly sensitive would not be sent via email. It is that simple. Comey was being the partisan hack that he was while working for Ken Starr. The State Department server itself would have been a target worth taking on. Not Hilary Clinton’s server. Comey was just trying to make it seem as it Clinton has somehow behaved carelessly with respect to sensitive information but all of the information in her emails is now public and if anyone can find anything even remotely ‘sensitive’ in them, I will eat my socks.
      And their socks.
      What’s more, if they planned to leak the DNC emails via Wikileaks there would need to be a trail as to where it came from. They would need to have a hacker to blame. And the fact that it was one of the hackers they used regularly would not register with the public very much. Certainly not with Sanders voters who support Wikileaks in general. Sanders people still cannot come to grips with this fact. One of his supporters wrote a post at Daily Kos and cited as evidence of Hilary Clinton’s supposed “corruption” an article in the Observer. Yes, that Observer. The one owned and run by Jared Kushner, the Trump Monster’s son in law. These were the people that the wikileaks “revelations” were aimed at. And quite a few of them bought it. Only with intelligence people who would recognize the source. And affecting the election was their aim. If they succeeded, there would be no consequences to them.

      • TXDem1945

        It is called “cloud cuckoo land”.

  • Aynwrong

    Trump’s moron supporters will take this as proof that he’s going to “shake things up.” A more vague, meaningless qualification for office I can’t imagine but is was a pretty regular justification for voting for this freak show.

    • Georgie

      Yes, and lets start with China,I hope his supporters will enjoy that. Blah…

      • Aynwrong


    • Scopedog

      Well, there were also a few idiots on the far Left who wanted a Trump win to also “shake things up” because Hillary was the “status quo”.


    • Draxiar

      Shake things up…earthquakes shake things up and cause billions of dollars in damages. That may not be what they expect but it sure as shit is what they’ll get. Unfortunately, like earthquakes, Trumps damages will be indiscriminant.