Trump Publicly Breaks With His Top Intelligence Officials

He tweets his thoughts on ISIS, Iran, North Korea
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2019 9:23 AM CST
Trump Publicly Breaks With His Top Intelligence Officials
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Hispanic pastors in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Trump disagrees with his top security officials, and he made that publicly known on Wednesday. His morning tweets to that end followed the testimony given before Congress on Tuesday by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA Director Gina Haspel as part of what the AP reports is a yearly assessment of leading global threats. Politico reports they outlined three leading issues where the intelligence community and the president aren't aligned: They said ISIS hasn't lost all its ground in Iraq and Syria and is "intent on resurging"; that the Iran nuclear deal is working and that it is not pursuing a nuclear weapon; and that North Korea likely won't give up its nukes. Trump's retorts:

  • On ISIS, he tweeted, "When I became President, ISIS was out of control in Syria & running rampant. Since then tremendous progress made, especially over last 5 weeks. Caliphate will soon be destroyed, unthinkable two years ago. Negotiating are proceeding well in Afghanistan after 18 years of fighting ... Fighting continues but the people of Afghanistan want peace in this never ending war. We will soon see if talks will be successful?"

  • On Iran, he tweeted in two parts, "The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong! When I became President Iran was making trouble all over the Middle East, and beyond. Since ending the terrible Iran Nuclear Deal, they are MUCH different, but........a source of potential danger and conflict. They are testing Rockets (last week) and more, and are coming very close to the edge. There economy is now crashing, which is the only thing holding them back. Be careful of Iran. Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!"
  • On North Korea, he tweeted in two parts, "North Korea relationship is best it has ever been with U.S. No testing, getting remains, hostages returned. Decent chance of Denuclearization......Time will tell what will happen with North Korea, but at the end of the previous administration, relationship was horrendous and very bad things were about to happen. Now a whole different story. I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un shortly. Progress being made-big difference!"
  • The AP and CNN note the security officials touched on other topics including cyberspying by China, climate change, and Russian meddling in Western democracies, but didn't speak of one of the president's leading security issues: US-Mexico border security.
  • CNN calls Trump's tweets "a remarkable rebuke that was reminiscent of his past criticisms of law enforcement officials."
  • Fox News flags a takeaway from Washington Examiner chief political correspondent Byron York, who called this out as the "scariest sentence" from Tuesday's testimony: that "China and Russia are more aligned than at any point during the mid-1950s," and are cybersecurity and election-meddling threats.
(Read more President Trump stories.)

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