Appearing on CNN, a former head of the House Intelligence Committee said President-elect Donald Trump should feel free to use intelligence information given to him from foreign governments in lieu of what his own intelligence agencies will be providing him.
Appearing on The Situation Room, former Congressman Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) flabbergasted host Jim Sciutto by saying U.S. intelligence agencies can provide “biased information,” before asserting Trump could also rely on information provided by foreign intelligence agencies.
Noting that Trump is still disputing evidence provided by all seventeen U.S. agencies that shows the Russians hacked the 2016 election, Hoekstra said Trump is sending U.S. intelligence a message.
“I think what Donald Trump is doing, is Donald Trump is putting the intelligence community on notice,” Hoekstra said. “That he expects them to deliver quality information in an unbiased format so that he will be equipped to make the best decisions possible as Commander in Chief. Sending that signal to the intelligence community is absolutely fine.”
“How will he judge when it’s quality? When it’s quality intelligence?” Sciutto pressed. “What will be his basis of deciding that?”
“I think one of the things he’ll do is go out and get information from a number of different sources,” the former lawmaker replied.
“Outside the intelligence community?” the CNN host asked.
“I think so, absolutely.,” Hoekstra said. “One of the things that I have found since I’ve left the intelligence community and left Congress is the number of other places that you can go and get very good information — and I did this when I was in Congress as well, as when I was on the intelligence committee.”
“So you’re saying the president of the United States should take the intelligence assessments of another country’s intelligence agencies over his own?” Sciutto asked.
“No, I didn’t say that at all,” Hoekstra parried. “What I’m saying is that he has other places that he can get intelligence from that he can use to test the quality and the accuracy of the information that he is getting from his own intelligence community. On the Intelligence Committee, I can tell you, I got intelligence frequently from other countries. It may have come through the intelligence community or it may have come through from other places that I could use to test the validity of the information that I was getting from the U.S. intelligence community. There’s nothing wrong with that. That information, some of it comes in classified, some of it does not. But there’s no reason why you have to accept at face value everything that you get from our intelligence community.”
Hoekstra’s comments come at a time when questions are still being raised about Trump’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was reportedly behind Russian efforts to elect Trump because he had an adversarial relationship with Trump’s presidential opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Watch the video below via CNN: