Former CIA vet: I quit because ‘overtly political’ Steve Bannon will crush dissenting voices on security
Edward Price, the former CIA analyst who penned a scathing op-ed in the Washington Post blaming Donald Trump for his decision to resign from the agency, joined CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday to explain the final straw in his short tenure with the new administration.
Price—who served as a spokesman for the National Security Council—told Blitzer the “clearest indication” that he would be unable to work for the Trump administration occurred when the “first national security policy directive removed the CIA director and the director of national intelligence” from the NSC and elevated chief White House strategist Steve Bannon to the table.
Price said that’s when he realized the Trump White House “may not have room for dissenting voices.”
Price said given the “ideology—and really the orthodoxy—that this administration has maintained,” he does “not feel this administration would be open to the kind of candid assessments, the kind of frank … analysis, that as a CIA analyst I would be charged with producing.”
The former CIA officer criticized the appointment of Bannon on the NSC, calling the move “unprecedented.” He noted while past administrations would occasionally allow political officers at NSC meetings, “they weren’t sitting at the table, and they didn’t have a vote,” arguing there’s never been an “overtly political voice” on the council.
Price said his decision was entirely personal and one he “came to very reluctantly.” He also offered words of solidarity to his former colleagues. “I certainly understand those who are staying in place, and quite frankly, I certainly hope there are good people who remain” Price said.
Watch the interviews below, via CNN:
Part One —
Part Two —