There is little argument about whether Trump respects his own intelligence agencies or not, but a new report by TIME Magazine is downright frightening.
According to the report, not only has the President attacked intelligence officials on Twitter and to the media, but officials themselves say they have been warned not to provide the president with information if that information counters the stances he has taken publicly.
Two intelligence officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to TIME Magazine, were warned that if their assessments contradicted things that Trump has stated on public record, that they were better off not providing him with those assessments.
Other intelligence officials, say that the president has displayed ‘willful ignorance’ and that it’s nearly impossible to keep his attention during briefings. They have found themselves having to turn to shorter briefings with diagrams and images, while shortening many points they try to make to a maximum of 2-3 sentences, in order to keep his attention.
The officials say that these issues date back to the very beginning of Trump’s presidency, and one official brought up one particular briefing in which Mr. Trump was being prepared for a meeting with British Prime Minister Teresa May. He was being informed about the British Indian Ocean Territory of Diego Garcia, where the US has a Naval Support Facility. The President suddenly asked,”are the people nice, and are the beaches good?”
“Some of us wondered if he was thinking about our alliance with the Brits and the security issues in an important area where the Chinese have been increasingly active, or whether he was thinking like a real estate developer,” said one worried official.
This report, which is one of many that have surfaced regarding his relationship wth the $81 billion a year intel community, will likely further drive a wedge between the group and the president.