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Trump's deluded endorsement of Putin over the US intelligence community

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 1/31/2023 Tom Rogan
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Former President Donald Trump showed a distinct lack of patriotism on Monday, describing the U.S. intelligence community as a collection of "lowlifes" and "misfits." Trump implied that he has greater trust in Russian president and former KGB officer Vladimir Putin.

Trump's post to his Truth Social platform referenced a July 2018 meeting with Putin in Finland. There, Trump was asked whether he trusted the U.S. intelligence community's collective finding that Russia had covertly sought to influence the 2016 U.S. elections. Trump responded by sympathizing with what he described as Putin's "extremely strong and powerful" denial of election interference. Putin thus had an American president undermine his own government and humiliate himself before allies and foes alike.

That Trump would retain any trust in Putin is patently ludicrous.


Via his former access to the highest classification of intelligence briefings, Trump must surely know that Putin revels in deception. He lies about assassinating his perceived adversaries, he lies about his cyberoffensives, and he lies about his intentions. For just one example, prior to his invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Putin and his ministers repeatedly denied that any such invasion was planned. Is Trump openly admitting that, even now, he would be foolish enough to trust Putin at his word? It certainly seems so.

And what about Trump's disdain for those who serve in the intelligence community?

I do not speak here of high-ranking former intelligence community officials such as Peter Strzok or former CIA Directors Michael Hayden and John Brennan. They have undermined their former institutions by engaging in partisan rhetoric and playing to Trump's perception of an enemy deep state. A far better example has been set by CIA Director Bill Burns, former CIA Director Gina Haspel, and current Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines. All three of those officials have at least tried to avoid partisan attachment from either the Left or the Right in order to build public trust in their respective institutions.

I speak instead of those Americans serving at home and abroad, many of whom have transitioned into the intelligence community from distinguished careers in the military or law enforcement. They, and others with advanced degrees or language skills, are serving the nation over pursuing far greater earning potential in the private sector. Some don't come home. At least one of the more recent unnamed stars on the CIA's memorial wall immortalizes a fun, smart, and patriotic young American who died in foreign service. That person's family deserves more from a fellow citizen, let alone a former president.

Yes, Trump might be impossibly lost in the hoarded rubble of his narcissistic mind maze. But only America's enemies are served by our joining him there. And if you don't believe me, read this quote from Putin just nine days before his invasion of Ukraine:

"It is our intention and resolve to reach agreement with our partners on the matters we put on the table, by diplomatic means."



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Tags: Opinion, Beltway Confidential, Donald Trump, Intelligence Community, Vladimir Putin, Russia, National Security, Foreign Policy

Original Author: Tom Rogan

Original Location: Trump's deluded endorsement of Putin over the US intelligence community


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