US allies may hold back sharing secrets for fear Trump will leak them to Putin: Ex-CIA agent
Trump's relationship with Moscow has stalked the first year of his presidency, with key former aides under a US investigation for alleged collaboration with the Kremlin. (SPUTNIK/AFP / Mikhail KLIMENTYEV)

Former CIA agent Steven Hall does not think highly of President Donald Trump's attacks on his own intelligence agencies.


Writing in the Washington Post, Hall says that it is unprecedented to have a president who is so openly hostile to his own spies, and he believes this hostility is harming national security.

In particular, Hall argues that Trump's poor relationship with the CIA will damage America's partnerships with allied countries.

"Many have already taken note of Trump’s cavalier attitude toward sensitive information, as well as his apparent failure to understand the basic rules of intelligence sharing," he writes. "Recall when our president shared sensitive intelligence obtained from one of our foreign partners with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, for example."

What's more, Hall says that American allies may be more reluctant to share sensitive information with the CIA going forward over worries about what Trump will do with it.

"I would be deeply surprised if many of our best intelligence allies were not already holding back information they would normally pass to their U.S. counterparts, for fear Trump might not be able to keep a secret," he writes. "Their concerns might even be darker when they consider the possibility that our president has reportedly discussed sensitive matters with Russian President Vladimir Putin behind closed doors with no record of the conversation."

Read the whole op-ed here.