According to a front page Wall Street Journal article today, U.S. intelligence officials have withheld sensitive intelligence from President Donald Trump because they are concerned it could be leaked or compromised. The Journal story cited former and current intelligence officials. If true, this would be a dangerous and unprecedented act of defiance by unelected intelligence officers. The acting Director of National Intelligence denied this report.
I suspect this story is only partly true for several reasons. While I believe there are a handful of Obama appointees who are making such claims, most intelligence officers would never do this because they know they work for the president and such behavior would cost them their jobs. I also question whether any intelligence officials who have had actual contact with the White House did this. I believe this story is being driven by a blogger and former intelligence officer who, although he has a wide following, has a history of making far-fetched and conspiratorial claims.
What this story does represent is the urgency that the Trump administration get its appointees in place in intelligence agencies to ensure they perform their mission to provide the president with the intelligence he needs to keep our nation safe. Trump officials also are urgently needed at State and the Pentagon.
Once Trump officials are in place and assert control over the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, CIA, DIA, State and DOD, there should be a sharp reduction in leaks and anti-Trump press stories like today’s Wall Street Journal article.