Donald Trump’s antipathy toward U.S. intelligence agencies is well documented. From refusing to hear daily intelligence briefings in the weeks leading up to his inauguration, to choosing to believe the word of Vladimir Putin over the CIA with respect to Russian hacking allegations, to giving a bizarre, self-congratulatory speech in front of the CIA’s memorial to fallen officers, Trump’s actions have sowed a level of distrust heretofore unknown between a president and the national intelligence apparatus.
Now, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that U.S. spy agencies are actually withholding information from the White House, out of fears that the White House will share the information with Russia. Reports the Journal:
“U.S. intelligence officials have withheld sensitive intelligence from President Donald Trump because they are concerned it could be leaked or compromised, according to current and former officials familiar with the matter.”
“The officials’ decision to keep information from Mr. Trump underscores the deep mistrust that has developed between the intelligence community and the president over his team’s contacts with the Russian government, as well as the enmity he has shown toward U.S. spy agencies. On Wednesday, Mr. Trump accused the agencies of leaking information to undermine him.”
That U.S. intelligence officials do not trust the president of the United States with information is stunning. It raises the question: do intelligence agencies know more about the exact relationship between Trump and Russia, and the possible influence Putin is exerting? It should go without saying that for America’s national security to be properly safeguarded, intelligence officials need to be able to communicate candidly with the president. Hopefully, with senators from both parties promising that Trump’s Russia ties will be fully investigated, these issues will be vetted and resolved.