President Donald Trump’s relationship with his own intelligence agencies has been strained from the start, and a new report claims that several CIA agents are particularly wary of their own director.
Unnamed officials tell the Washington Post that there is significant tension within the agency over CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s willingness to go all-out in defending Trump while also undermining the role that Russian intelligence actions played in getting him elected.
“People have to watch him,” one anonymous U.S. official told the Post. “It’s almost as if he can’t resist the impulse to be political.”
The primary cause of tension between Pompeo and the agency is that the Counterintelligence Mission Center — the part of the agency that is closely tied to investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election — must report directly to him.
“Current and former officials said that the arrangement has been a source of apprehension among the CIA’s upper ranks and that they could not recall a time in the agency’s history when a director faced a comparable conflict,” writes the Post.
These officials emphasize to the Post that “Pompeo has not impeded [their] work… but several officials said there is concern about what he might do if the CIA uncovered new information potentially damaging to Trump.”