A day after Trump criticized US intelligence agency chiefs over their assessments of global threats, the US President is now reversing gears on his critique, saying that he and the intelligence community “are all on the same page.”
According to the AP, Trump met with his director of national intelligence and other top security officials in the Oval Office and said afterward that they told him their testimony at a Senate hearing had been “mischaracterized” by the news media.
The officials told Congress on Tuesday that North Korea is unlikely to dismantle its nuclear arsenal and that the Iran nuclear deal is working, contrary to what Trump has claimed.
The intelligence agency chiefs “said that they were totally misquoted and … it was taken out of context,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “They said it was fake news.”
Trump tweeted Thursday that he and the intelligence leaders “are very much in agreement on Iran, ISIS, North Korea, etc.” and that he values their service.
“Happily, we had a very good meeting, and we are all on the same page!” he wrote.
RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a quick look at US President Donald Trump’s shifting position on whether he agrees with his Intelligence team’s assessment of various threats to American hegemony.
American Intelligence chiefs presented an update to the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday on their annual assessment of global threats, broadcast on C-SPAN, where they warned of an increasingly diverse range of security dangers from North Korean nuclear weapons to Chinese cyber espionage and Russian campaigns to undermine Western democracies.
After the Intelligence briefing U.S. President Trump said intelligence officials were wrong about North Korea, Iran and the Islamic State, which they said remains a terrorist and insurgent threat.
Trump later tweeted on Wednesday that, “perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!”
US President Donald Trump has reversed course on his spymasters’ threat assessment, insisting his initial negative reaction – in which he dismissed their reports as “wrong” and “naïve” – was based on (what else?) fake news.
Trump accused the press of “mischaracterizing” the agency chiefs’ Senate testimony earlier this week, in which they explained how much America should be concerned with ISIS, Iran, North Korea and others. The president initially lashed out at their assessment, criticizing their failure to recognize Tehran as a major threat to the US. After meeting his top spies in person, though, he insisted they all agree “very much” – a total 180 from Wednesday morning.
….I would suggest you read the COMPLETE testimony from Tuesday. A false narrative is so bad for our Country. I value our intelligence community. Happily, we had a very good meeting, and we are all on the same page!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2019
The president told non-believers to go read the “COMPLETE testimony” – though the words had not changed since Tuesday, when Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA chief Gina Haspel publicly contradicted many of Trump’s policy statements. In particular, Coats said Iran was still complying with the Obama-era nuclear deal and did not appear to be trying to make the A-bomb.
Iran appears to be the only region in which US intelligence doesn’t see a clear and present danger – ISIS, China, North Korea, even the UK all pose dangers to the American empire for this or that reason, according to the spy chiefs.
Twitter reminded Trump that Coats and Haspel had testified on live television.
Their testimony was aired live on television. How was it distorted?
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) January 31, 2019
This is gaslighting.
They were giving sworn, televised testimony in front of the United States Congress in which they directly contradicted things that Trump has said about the nuclear threat from North Korea and Iran and about the threat from the southern border.
— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) January 31, 2019
Compounding the “who’re you going to believe, me or your lying eyes” routine, Trump didn’t even bother to delete the tweets where he called “the Intelligence people” “wrong” and “passive” concerning their Iran assessment and told them to “go back to school.”
The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong! When I became President Iran was making trouble all over the Middle East, and beyond. Since ending the terrible Iran Nuclear Deal, they are MUCH different, but….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 30, 2019
….a source of potential danger and conflict. They are testing Rockets (last week) and more, and are coming very close to the edge. There economy is now crashing, which is the only thing holding them back. Be careful of Iran. Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 30, 2019
Before the Thursday meeting, Trump seemed to double down on his disagreement with his spies, telling the press “I disagree with certain things they said,” and insisting “Time will prove me right, probably.”
Considering how things changed, one can only speculate that some high-end recruitment techniques were used on the President.
What a weird, staged photo where no one is speaking and everyone is staring awkwardly at each other. pic.twitter.com/DVdzULsawi
— The Nemophilist (@JennKeay) January 31, 2019
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.