Donald Trump's increasing attacks on the intelligence community — including the chiefs he put in office — are further proof of his "rage against reality," Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent wrote Wednesday.
One of the latest targets for Trump's ire is Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, whose national security threat assessments to Congress undermined the president's, Sargent noted.
The president has whined that Coats is "not on the team" — and as a result, is considering taking him out of his position.
"It’s true that Coats is not on Team Trump," Sargent noted. "Instead, he’s on Team Reality. What Trump is really enraged over is his inability to shape reality to his liking."
In January, when the DNI and other intelligence leaders testified before Congress about threat assessments, Coats said that the Islamic State has not been defeated — an admission that flies in the face of Trump's assertion that it had been when deciding to pull troops of out Syria.
Trump initially "did damage control," Sargent wrote, "by claiming the 'fake news' media had falsified their testimony and that, in fact, intelligence leaders agreed with him."
"Trump’s effort to change the reality of what they said hasn’t even convinced Trump himself," the columnist added. "He knows they actually did publicly contradict him, which is why he’s raging over Coats again."
"Needless to say, there’s no sense whatsoever that Trump might want to take those assessments into account while making complex and difficult decisions," Sargent wrote. "It’s the very public existence of those views, and the fact that they made Trump look bad, that has him enraged. Trump could not turn them into fake news through sheer force of tweet."