Donald Trump Threatening Purge of Intelligence Community

Donald Trump Threatening Purge of Intelligence Community

Constance Renton
US Election: Donald Trump

Toronto US President Donald Trump seems to be hinting at a full-fledged purge of his own intelligence agencies following his Wednesday tirade about classified leaks, according to the Huffington Post.

President Trump appears to be going into complete self-protect mode following the resignation of his former National Security Advisor and good friend, Michael Flynn on Monday. In a curious display of Trumpesque level logic, he appears determined to go after those who broke the story, instead of putting effort into discovering how widely spread the situation is.

In a classic display of Trump tweeting, he took to his favoured form of communication Thursday morning, saying “leaking and even illegal classified leaking has been a big problem in Washington for years. Failing @nytimes (and others) must apologize!”

This was rapidly followed just minutes later with a second tweet. “The spotlight has finally been put on low-life leakers! They will be caught!”

Yet again, Trump appears to be attempting to deflect eyes from the real issue of his own top advisors being in constant contact with Russian officials before, during and after the Presidential campaign, to a condemnation of the people who brought the story to light. Now he seems poised to drive the situation around a much darker corner toward a full-fledged purge of the government’s own intelligence agencies.

According to the same source, former US President Barack Obama also made an effort to curtail the leaking of classified information but the motivations of the two men couldn’t be more different. For Obama, the concern was clearly national security. For Trump, however, the issue seems to be more one of self-preservation.

Trump shocked many during a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Wednesday when he launched into a diatribe against the “unfair” treatment Michael Flynn had received by the intelligence community and the media alike. “I think he’s been treated very, very badly by the media- as I call it, the fake media, in many cases. I think it’s really a sad thing he was treated so badly,” singing Flynn’s praises to a bewildered media instead of exhibiting the appropriate, Presidential concern for any possible damage that Flynn’s calls may have done to national security.

Scuttlebutt is circulating around Washington that Trump is going to approach New York billionaire Stephen Feinberg to oversee a total review of US intelligence agencies in what critics and intelligence officials are both calling an attempt “to curtailtheir independence and reduce the flow of information that contradicts the president’s worldview.” Feinberg, it seems, is a flaming sign of a coming purge, albeit one with absolutely no intelligence experience.

Sensing a strange momentum underway by the President, Republican supporters like former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, are feeling an encouraging sense of confidence to speak out against the intelligence community and mainstream media, a la Trump. The “House Senate Intelligence Committee must open investigations of illegal leaks from the intelligence community, deliberate effort to undermine the President.” Gingrich tweeted.

Jason Chaffetz, Chair of the House Oversight Committee, is also jumping on the deflection rocket stating, “It seems probable that the fact that an intelligence agency monitors the call, if it did, as well as any recording of the call, it would be classified.

We have serious concerns about the potential inadequate protection of classified information here.” Trump supporters seem to be more concerned with how the information became public than they are about substance of Flynn’s calls or how many other top Trump staffers could be involved.

Democratic Representative, Elijah Cummings said Thursday morning, “Chairman Chaffetz appears to be taking his marching orders directly from President Trump’s tweet yesterday. Instead of investigating General Flynn’s lies and his troubling ties with Russia, he chose to target those who brought them to light.

Congress should be doing independent oversight of the Executive Branch and protecting whistleblowers, not running interference while the White House conceals their abuses and misleads the American people for weeks.”

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