U.S. intelligence officials are withholding information from Donald Trump over concerns that the president cannot be trusted with sensitive intelligence material, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The decision, according to the WSJ, is in part due to the intelligence community’s mistrust towards the president, particularly over contacts between his confidants and the Russian government.
The president has publicly disparaged the intelligence community on more than one occasion, including today, when he tweeted that the “real scandal” arising from the resignation of former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn “is that classified information is illegally given out by ‘intelligence’ like candy.”
“Very un-American!” Trump added.
Officials reportedly withheld information including “the sources and methods that the intelligence agencies use to collect information,” in large part because of the president’s repeated and vocal admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I’ve talked with people in the intelligence community that do have concerns about the White House, about the president, and I think those concerns take a number of forms,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) told the Wall Street Journal. “What the intelligence community considers their most sacred obligation is to protect the very best intelligence and to protect the people that are producing it.”
A White House official on Wednesday refuted the report. “There is nothing that leads us to believe that this is an accurate account of what is actually happening,” the official said.