U.S. intelligence operatives are withholding sensitive information from the White House for the first time in history because they believe that Russia will find out anything they tell Pres. Donald Trump and his aides.
The New York Observer — which is owned by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner — reported Sunday that the intelligence community (IC) is “pushing back” against an administration it believes is incompetent, dishonest, leaky and “penetrated by the Kremlin.”
“Our Intelligence Community is so worried by the unprecedented problems of the Trump administration — not only do senior officials possess troubling ties to the Kremlin, there are nagging questions about basic competence regarding Team Trump — that it is beginning to withhold intelligence from a White House which our spies do not trust,” wrote former analyst for the National Security Agency Jack R. Schindler.
Not only has Trump gone out of his way to discredit the nation’s spy agencies, his main national security guru, Gen. Mike Flynn either appears to by lying about his conversations with the Russian government about U.S. sanctions or can’t remember breaking the law.
“Whether Flynn is monumentally stupid or monumentally arrogant is the big question that hangs over this increasingly strange affair,” Schindler wrote.
One of Flynn’s top aides was denied a security clearance, and although they have not made public exactly what caused them to deny Rob Townley access to Sensitive Compartmentalized Information, Schindler believes that it is a sign that the IC is going to be taking a harder line with the administration.
Most worrisome of all is the fact that — as one senior Pentagon official told Schindler — our nation’s spies believe that “the Kremlin has ears inside the SITROOM,” otherwise known as the Situation Room, where the nation’s most protected secrets are discussed.
“There’s not much the Russians don’t know at this point,” the official said.
Schindler wrote, “None of this has happened in Washington before. A White House with unsettling links to Moscow wasn’t something anybody in the Pentagon or the Intelligence Community even considered a possibility until a few months ago. Until Team Trump clarifies its strange relationship with the Kremlin, and starts working on its professional honesty, the IC will approach the administration with caution and concern.”
If Trump poisons his relationship with the IC, Schindler warned, the situation becomes extremely risky because, “President Trump is prone to creating crises foreign and domestic with his incautious tweets. In the event of a serious international crisis of the sort which eventually befalls almost every administration, the White House will need the best intelligence possible to prevent war, possibly even nuclear war. It may not get the information it needs in that hour of crisis, and for that it has nobody to blame but itself.”