It looks like President Trump is going to do something with the intelligence community that is long overdue. Sources within spy agencies appear to have been leaking classified information to undercut the Trump administration. Those leaking classified information are almost certainly holdovers from the Obama administration, and they shouldn’t be too hard to find, and it looks like the president is about to take action to find them. President Trump is reportedly bringing Stephen Feinberg into the administration to root out the leakers.
It’s an open secret in Washington that the intelligence community doesn’t like Donald Trump. It was leaking from the intelligence community that cost Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security advisor, his job. Flynn didn’t break any laws, and he didn’t do anything, with respect to his conversation with the Russians, that was out of line. Flynn’s only mistake was not telling vice president Mike Pence about the conversation, and when President Trump found out about that, he said he lost confidence in Flynn and let him go.
The major media, the public relations arm of the Democratic National Committee, is alive with stories today about the possibility of the president bringing Stephen Feinberg, a longtime friend, into the administration to review intelligence gathering.
The intelligence community is reportedly terrified of Feinberg reviewing their operations. Their excuse is that they fear Feinberg might curtail their independence. That is clearly a straw man; it’s not their independence that’s in jeopardy, it’s their continuing work to salvage some legacy for Barack Obama.
In addition to a long-standing friendship with Donald Trump, Mr. Feinberg has close ties to Stephen Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, and Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and trusted advisor.
The intelligence community is joined at the hip with the Obama administration on a variety of issues critical to national security and openly hostile to America. Those include the Iran nuclear deal, Islamic terrorism, and how best to deal with NATO. Obama’s private negotiations with the Iranians to conclude a deal that will most certainly give them nuclear weapons and his reluctance to consider Islamic terrorism an issue national security are mirrored by his appointments in the intelligence community. They also show a stark misunderstanding of the real world.
With Mike Pompeo at the head of CIA hopefully, the administration will be able to bring that agency under control. Former Senator Dan Coats is the president’s pick to be director of national intelligence, but Democrats are still stonewalling his confirmation. President Trump needs his people at the head of these agencies, now. Mitch McConnell and the Republican leadership in Congress needs to stop the Democratic stonewalling; Democrats are putting the nation at risk because they care more about personal power in Washington than they do about the security of the nation.
President Trump hasn’t made a decision about a role for Mr. Feinberg, but it looks like even if he doesn’t come in to review intelligence agencies, he will have a very highly placed position in the administration. His name was on the short list for both directors of national intelligence and CIA, and Washington chatter is that he will have a place in the intelligence community.
Some Republicans in Congress, notably Representative Stephen King of Iowa, understand that there are serious personnel problems in the intelligence community. In a recent interview, King said that some officials of the intelligence community were trustworthy but “not all.” He went on to note that “people there need to be rooted out.” An unnamed lawmaker noted that the intelligence agencies had been filled by Barack Obama with politicians and they need to be cleaned out.
Donald Trump is known for fast action, and I certainly hope he takes action quickly with the intelligence community and we’re reading headlines about heads rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue.
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