U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks during a visit to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Langley, Virginia U.S. January 21, 2017. REUTERS...
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Some intelligence officials don’t trust Trump with sensitive info

Updated
The day after his inauguration, less than 24 hours into his presidency, Donald Trump traveled to Langley to deliver an odd, rambling speech to the Central Intelligence Agency. Early on in his remarks, the new president made a point to explain why he was there.

“The reason you’re my first stop is that, as you know, I have a running war with the media,” Trump said. “They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth. And they sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community. And I just want to let you know, the reason you’re the number-one stop is exactly the opposite – exactly.”

In reality, of course, Trump’s feud with the intelligence community wasn’t a media creation; it was a real problem that the Republican created, seemingly on purpose, over the course of many months. Trump, before and after the election, publicly attacked the intelligence community’s integrity, accuracy, and reliability in unprecedented ways.

The Rachel Maddow Show, 2/15/17, 9:36 PM ET

WSJ: US intel officials withholding sensitive info from Trump

Senator Chris Murphy, member of the foreign relations committee, talks with Rachel Maddow about the animosity between U.S. intelligence and Donald Trump, and the need for a credible investigation of the connections between the Trump regime and Russia.
If this Wall Street Journal report is any indication, it’s safe to assume intelligence professionals noticed.
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. […]

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.
The article added there have been instances in which intelligence officials have withheld select information when “secrecy is essential for protecting a source,” but these latest developments are different. In those previous instances, “the decision wasn’t motivated by a concern about a president’s trustworthiness or discretion.”

Matt Yglesias joked last night that if the intelligence community really wanted to keep information from Trump, officials could just “submit it to him in writing” – knowing that the president is so averse to reading reports, he’d never actually see the sensitive materials.

But all joking aside, this isn’t a sustainable governing dynamic. Imagine I was describing a foreign country, ostensibly a democratic republic, led by an amateur chief executive who received fewer votes than his opponent, after receiving controversial assistance from a foreign country and the head of that nation’s federal law enforcement agency.

Then imagine that this foreign leader, almost immediately after taking office, was overcome by scandals, fired his acting attorney general, fired his national security advisor, and started acting so erratically that his own intelligence agencies questioned whether the chief executive could be trusted with sensitive secrets.

Chances are, you’d hear this about a foreign country and assume it was some kind of banana republic, facing a fairly serious crisis. And yet, I didn’t just describe some distant land; I just described contemporary events in the world’s most dominant superpower.

Donald Trump and Intelligence

Some intelligence officials don't trust Trump with sensitive info

Updated