While president-elect Donald Trump is busy setting up his administration, he will also be appointing a new director of national intelligence. This decision is already making many in the federal government community a little worried that a total restructuring may be in the works.
The alleged “Russian hacking” episode has inspired some speculation about it and the people working in the intelligence agencies are not happy that it could lead to some unwanted changes.
For the time being though, know that Trump has chosen former Senator Dan Coats to become the director of national intelligence. Mr. Coats served on the Senate Intelligence and Armed Services Committees during his time in office. But our questions about whether or not Trump will completely dismantle this agency are still rather up in the air.
As CBS News reports:
Donald Trump has picked former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats to be director of national intelligence, CBS News’ Arden Farhi reports, citing a senior transition official. Coats’ name has been floating for weeks (which has not always turned out well for potential appointees).
CBS News’ Major Garrett had reported that Mr. Trump was also seriously considering cutting back the DNI. However on Thursday, Trump transition spokesman Sean Spicer said “all discussions are tentative” and went on to say, “there is no truth to this idea of restructuring the intelligence community infrastructure. It is 100 percent false.”
The Wall Street Journal filled in the blanks:
Current and former intelligence and law enforcement officials have reacted with a mix of bafflement and outrage to Mr. Trump’s continuing series of jabs at U.S. spies.
“They are furious about it,” said one former senior intelligence official, adding that a retinue of senior officials who thought they would be staying on in a Hillary Clinton administration now are re-evaluating their plans following Mr. Trump’s election.
Current and former officials said it was particularly striking to see Mr. Trump quote Mr. Assange in tweets.
“It’s pretty horrifying to me that he’s siding with Assange over the intelligence agencies,” one former law-enforcement official said.
Paul Pillar, a 28-year veteran of the CIA who retired in 2005, said he was disturbed by Mr. Trump’s tweets and feared much of the intelligence community’s assessments could be filtered through Gen. Flynn.
“I’m rather pessimistic,” he said. “This is indeed disturbing that the president should come in with this negative view of the agencies, coupled with his habits on how he absorbs information and so on that don’t provide a lot of hope for change.”
You couldn’t really blame Trump if he did choose to make some changes in an intelligence community that has failed to prevent cyber attacks and terrorism from coming to our shores in the past several years.
It might be time for an upgrade!
Source: Allen B West