In the ongoing battle between President Donald Trump and the U.S. intelligence community, senior officials are going public to reveal the details of his briefings.
Multiple officials spoke with Time magazine to warn that the commander-in-chief is endangering U.S. security by disregarding intelligence assessments.
They cited Trump’s “willful ignorance” during briefings.
“What is most troubling, say these officials and others in government and on Capitol Hill who have been briefed on the episodes, are Trump’s angry reactions when he is given information that contradicts positions he has taken or beliefs he holds,” Time reported. “Two intelligence officers even reported that they have been warned to avoid giving the President intelligence assessments that contradict stances he has taken in public.”
During a briefing on a key U.S. airbase on the Diego Garcia atoll in the Indian Ocean, Trump reportedly questioned briefers as to whether the people were nice and the beaches were good.
“Some of us wondered if he was thinking about our alliance with the Brits and the security issues in an important area where the Chinese have been increasingly active, or whether he was thinking like a real estate developer,” on official said.
During another briefing, Trump claimed that independent countries of Nepal and Bhutan — which he mispronounced — were part of India.
” Two briefers worry that a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping could produce a trade agreement that the President can trumpet but that fails to address China’s espionage, its theft of intellectual property that ranges from circuit boards to soybean hybrids, its military buildup, and its geopolitical ambition,” Time reported.
“Three other officials worry about what one of them calls ‘precipitous troop withdrawals’ from Syria and Afghanistan and a peace deal with the Taliban that in time would leave the extremist Islamic group back in charge and wipe out the gains made in education, women’s rights and governance since the U.S. invaded the country more than 17 years ago,” Time added.
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