The U.S. Intelligence Community is so concerned that the new administration’s ties with Moscow might lead to a major national security crisis that they have been withholding critical information from president Donald Trump, a report shows.
U.S. spies no longer trust the White House as they have to face with nearly daily revelations of major issues within the new Cabinet. Moreover, Trump has often mocked members of the U.S. intelligence community, while his national security adviser cannot get his facts straight on vital issues to the nation.
The retired Army three-star general Michael T Flynn was disliked in Washington for his preference for conspiracy theories and brash personality. He had been fired from the Defense Intelligence Agency for “poor judgement” before he took his new position at the far more influential NSC.
U.S. spies have been increasingly concerned about the general’s judgement ever since reports surfaced that he contacted a top Russian official to reassure Moscow that Obama’s new wave of sanctions on Russia would be gone after Trump was sworn in. Even though Flynn and the White House repeatedly said there was no contact with Russian officials, U.S. spies said otherwaise.
According to an explosive report published by the Washington Post Friday, Flynn had numerous conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States. The news was later confirmed by the ambassador himself, even though Moscow said that they did not discussed sanctions.
However, the U.S. intelligence community knows exactly what the two men have discussed due to counterintelligence surveillance of foreign embassies. U.S. spies monitor the Russian embassy in Washington just like, Russians keep an eye on the U.S. embassy in Moscow. In other words, ambassadors’ calls are always tracked.
According to an investigative report from the Wall Street Journal, intel officials refused to show the president the methods and tools that helped them gather intelligence on Flynn and the ambassador. The WSJ cited current and former officials working in the field as sources.
Sources, on the other hand, did not say that the intelligence community withheld critical information about national security threats or plots from the president. However, the omissions point to a lack of trust between Washington and the U.S. spy community.
However, sources’ statements about the intelligence community are usually very unreliable, so the WSJ’s findings should be taken with a grain of salt. Yet even though a similar report would have been dismissed as laughable if we had been talking about any other president, in Trump’s case anything is possible.
Still, there is evidence that the U.S. intelligence community is pushing back. For instance, the CIA has reportedly denied one of Flynn’s aides Rob Townley access to the Sensitive Compartmented Information. It remains unclear why the CIA denied Townley clearance even though the White House speculates it was to get revenge on Flynn.
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