"For a President not to be prepared to listen to the myriad of intelligence agencies - from defense intelligence to the CIA - is absolutely mindless" - VP Joe Biden yesterday.
Note the use of Biden's term "mindless" in the above quote which actually may be way too generous. It implies a person mentally vacant for a given task at hand, or job, say like an Alzheimer's victim. But there are many reasons to believe Donald J. Trump isn't mindless, he is simply using his mind in devious ways to undermine the intelligence community and security of this country. Even if a person might originally have been tempted to give Trump the benefit of the doubt in terms of denying the veracity of intelligence reports the past few weeks, yesterday's Senate hearing ought to have quashed that once and for all.
In fact, DNI James Clapper and his fellow spymasters (the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, and Director of the National Security Agency) all delivered testimony basically revealing Trump as a fraud, a fool and in no way qualified to hold the office of dog catcher- far less leader of the world's most powerful nation.
Mincing no words, National Intelligence Director James Clapper bluntly stated: "There’s a difference between skepticism and disparagement,” skewering the Trumpian nonsense that his hesitance to accept the intelligence community's findings was mere "skepticism".
Clapper told a Senate Armed Service Committee hearing into foreign cyber-threats (headed by Sen. John McCain) to the US that intelligence analysts “stand more resolutely” than ever behind their conclusion of “Russian interference in our electoral process”.
The testimony was delivered before Clapper and the heads of the CIA, NSA and FBI are expected to present their findings on Russian election interference to Trump today, in his Trump Tower redoubt. Asked by Lindsey Graham if he was ready to take on Trump today, Clapper didn't hesitate, saying "Absolutely!".
The meet with the clown Trump, who has repeatedly scoffed at the hacking claims from the intelligence community, is likely to be highly charged. How can it not be given that Trump the tweeting troll has all but left the nation's spymasters incredulous at the spectacle of his sheer foolish claims including "I know things other people don't know about hacking". Thereby leaving the intel community not only in disbelief but hung out to dry with his off the cuff BS and dismissive tweets. (Which VP Biden admonished him to cease saying "Grow up, Donald!")
Indeed, this lout and loon has publicly derided the agencies on the hacking issue. Also, as reported yesterday (MSNBC) the spymasters are so worried that Trump won't accept their final report that they called members of congress asking them for public support. They are also clearly worried that Trump this week actually cited a denial by Julian Assange of WikiLeaks that his source for Democratic party emails released during the election was the Russian government or “a state party”.
In the wake of such unfathomable disparagement of their work, both Clapper and Admiral Michael Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, expressed concerns about intelligence analysts’ morale with Rogers suggesting some may quit. Many in private have confided that having to deal with such a soon to be leader of the putative free world, has shaken them to their core.
And why not? They will within 2 weeks be under the control of a totally unqualified buffoon who has no more regard for this country than the quality of the crap he sells in the assorted boutiques of Trump Tower.
As 'Exhibit A' one can cite Trump’s confidence in WikiLeaks which has shocked and angered intelligence analysts, who consider Assange at minimum a dupe, and at most a willing tool of Putin. Clapper and Rogers testified they believe Assange has no credibility. “I don’t think those of us in the intelligence community have a whole lot of respect for him,” said Clapper. Then On Thursday morning, Trump denied he was “in agreement” with Assange, tweeting: “I simply state what he states, it is for the people to make up their own minds as to the truth.” But this is too clever by half, and way too coy, even for a president- elect with the impulse control of a three year old.
For one thing, if he took the intelligence community seriously he would not be dignifying the words of a person regarded as a hostile actor or used actor by most intel insiders. The very fact he would state what Assange states discloses he places Assange's words on a par with that of James Clapper and the intel directors. What's wrong with this picture? Well, everything!
If one trusts and accepts the reports - including daily briefs - of the intelligence analysts, then that must be mutually exclusive with accepting the words of a person they consider a hostile actor. Trump like any three year old merely tries to show he wants to have his cake and eat it too.
Asked about morale within the intelligence agencies in the wake of Trump’s comments, Clapper said: “I haven’t done a climate survey, but I hardly think it helps it.” Rogers said the “confidence of our leaders” helps motivate intelligence officers, “and without that confidence, I just don’t want a situation where our workforce decides to walk, because that’s not a good place for us to be”.
Even more sobering, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the proposal, Trump is considering diminishing the director of national intelligence and even getting rid of it. This move, according to the head of the 9/11 Commission, would leave this nation even more vulnerable to outside attacks by hostiles, including terrorists.
Does Trump care? I seriously doubt it. He likely cares more about kickbacks and money coming in from foreign visitors to his Trump Hotel in D.C.
Maybe the capper on the whole sordid interlude is that the Russkies were evidently elated by the Trump win, see e.g.