A New CIA Report Has Harsh Words For Donald Trump

Throughout his White House tenure, President Donald Trump seemed consistently underwhelmed and even outright misinformed about the role the intelligence community was supposed to play. As NBC News notes, although historically Republicans have embraced organizations such as the FBI, in particular, believing their politics aligned closely with their own, Trump frequently fought with them. He described FBI agents as "scum" who "destroyed the lives of people" while those who colluded with the Bureau were "rats." Worryingly, Republicans carried on this sentiment even after Trump left office.

When he lost to Joe Biden, the former reality star again turned his attention to those whom he believed had wronged him, even accusing the FBI of refusing to overturn the election on his behalf. Per The Independent, Trump argued that the Bureau has "served many presidents," so he couldn't comprehend why they didn't look more closely into his (utterly baseless) claims of election fraud. Speaking on Fox News, the former commander-in-chief accused the FBI of being MIA and speculated maybe they were working to bring him down. Trump was frequently irritated when FBI chief Christopher Wray wouldn't simply fall in line and do his bidding. Now, it's clear the CIA had similar issues. 

President Trump was incredibly difficult to work with

According to the recent CIA-themed publication "Getting to Know the President," which features commentary from former director of national intelligence James Clapper, Donald Trump's behavior behind doors was even more erratic than his public outbursts suggested. Rolling Stone reports the former president was described as "fact free" and likely to "fly off on tangents" at the drop of a hat, among other things. The book details the relationship between various members of the intelligence community and U.S presidents over the years. 

Penned by retired intelligence officer John L. Helgerson, it reveals how, "Briefing Trump presented the IC with the most difficult challenges it had ever faced." In fact, the most recent president whose tempestuous behavior rivaled Trump's was Richard Nixon's. Unlike Nixon, however, Trump chose to publicly disparage the community rather than simply cutting them out of the equation. 

The former "Apprentice" host reportedly "doubted the competence of intelligence professionals and felt no need for regular intelligence support," which made it increasingly difficult for officials to do their jobs. Trump delayed receiving daily intelligence briefings for an entire week after he was elected, allegedly because his team wasn't ready, but even once he began receiving them, Trump rarely read the reports. "He doesn't really read anything," career CIA analyst Ted Gistaro explained. Clapper agreed, noting, "He likes bullets." Briefings had to be shaved down considerably as a result, and Trump typically used subsequent discussions to push his own policy talking points instead.