U.S. spies are withholding intelligence from Donald Trump, who has none

Capping off Donald J. Trump's No Good Very Bad Horrible Day today, the Wall Street Journal reports that senior U.S. intelligence officials are deliberately withholding sensitive information from the President because they don't trust him. Today's report cites sources inside the White House, and underscores the deep mistrust between career spies and the imploding kakistocracy.

“It wasn’t clear Wednesday how many times officials have held back information from Mr. Trump,” reports WSJ.

How does Trump's camp respond? As they always do, with denial.

A White House official told the Wall Street Journal, “There is nothing that leads us to believe that this is an accurate account of what is actually happening.”

Snip from WSJ:

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.

In some of these cases of withheld information, officials have decided not to show Mr. Trump the sources and methods that the intelligence agencies use to collect information, the current and former officials said. Those sources and methods could include, for instance, the means that an agency uses to spy on a foreign government.

PHOTOSHOP: @beschizza

Notable Replies

  1. LDoBe says:

    At this point, I'd say tRump counts as a foreign adversary, and actually giving him the intelligence might be treasonous.

  2. I really don't know what's worse. The fact that we now effectively have a deep state, or the fact that there's a good reason to have one.

  3. Czanne says:

    ... if Cheeto Benito were just a used car salesman from Topeka with two ex-wives and six bankruptcies in the rear-view, who was spouting conspiracy theories and personal grievances at all hours to the customers, and his partners met secretly and decided it was time to buy him out, it wouldn't be unreasonable for those partners to keep business information under lock and key in the run-up to that (likely) hostile corporate action.

    If that used car salesman's third wife had gotten tired of the emotional abuse and erratic behavior, and decided to walk, it would be reasonable for her to keep her legal appointments and liquidation of her personal assets secret while she gets the money and the paperwork ready to go.

    I am not about to go Kantian categorical imperative on this. For the past 60 years, we've built our entire intelligence system on a principle of need to know and clearances. (We can argue whether this is a good system or not elsewhere; we have a major body of case law that is premised on this theory, so these are the rules we've set out.) No President is a god, a hyperintelligence, or endowed with the divine right of kings. All Presidents are first citizens. There is precedent for controlling Presidential access; during the Woodrow Wilson stroke era, after Dwight Eisenhower had major heart surgery, and in the waning Nixon days.

    We do have an oversight problem -- that's been clear for 15 years at least -- but we also have dozens to hundreds of people risking their careers, retirements, and their freedom in the service of what they see as a higher cause. Since I tend to give significant benefit of the doubt to whistleblowers, I have to extend that to both leakers and those controlling information. They swore to uphold the Constitution first, after all. I'm willing to give them time now, and handle the consequences of their actions later.

    Do I want hearings? You betcha. But we figure out the cause of the fire after the building is not burning, not while there are still people on the 12th floor.

  4. LDoBe says:

    Do you think congress even cares? They're lining their pockets before the country collapses. They don't give a fuck, and mark my words: they won't ever impeach tRump, unless he does something that personally costs a republican money.

  5. ...But her emails.

Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

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