Former CIA director James Woolsey and Trump break ties ahead of major intelligence briefing
Former CIA director James Woolsey is no longer a senior advisor to President-elect Donald Trump, according to a statement from Woolsey.
“He wishes the President-elect and his Administration great success in their time in office,” spokesman Jonathan Franks said in the statement.
Reuters reported Thursday that the Trump team has erupted into very different opinions on shaping the future of spy agencies under his administration.
Woolsey spoke to CNN on New Year’s Eve and broke from the Trump message after the recent hack of the Vermont electric company. He confessed that he had no idea what was behind Trump’s decision to ignore recent reports about both hacks but he planned to convey the level of seriousness to Trump the next time he saw him.
“I’ve been studying and working on this issue for 10 or 12 years now,” Woolsey explained to Suzanne Malveaux. “I don’t think the same kind of questioning is going to come up [with Trump] because of the nature of the hardware or software that they have found.”
Woolsey said that the hack of the Vermont company is extremely dangerous.
“The Russians have hacked successfully into Ukraine and Georgia’s electric grid,” he said. “This is some of the same software and hardware that they used in those hackings. The grid isn’t just a matter of convenience. It’s a front on which one can conduct asymmetric warfare and the Russians like that and they are doing it. That means if you take down the electricity part of the infrastructure, you have taken down water purification, food deliveries and so on. This is a very big deal and ought to be treated as such.”
It’s unclear if Woolsey was asked to step down by Trump or if he left after meeting with Trump and discussing the hack with him. Some pundits have speculated that something is afoot behind Trump’s constant defense of Russian President Vladimir Putin.