Intelligence Agencies: President Trump Is, Um, a Wee Bit Misguided

The Straits Times/ZUMA

President Trump’s own intelligence officials are publicly saying that he’s a moron:

A new American intelligence assessment of global threats has concluded that North Korea is “unlikely to give up” all of its nuclear stockpiles, and that Iran is not “currently undertaking the key nuclear weapons-development activity” needed to make a bomb, directly contradicting two top tenets of President Trump’s foreign policy. Daniel R. Coats, the director of national intelligence, also challenged Mr. Trump’s insistence that the Islamic State had been defeated, a key rationale for his decision to exit from Syria.

….Mr. Coats told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that “we currently assess North Korea will seek to retain its W.M.D. capability and is unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production capability….Its leaders ultimately view nuclear weapons as critical to regime survival,” Mr. Coats said.

OK, OK, Coats didn’t call Trump a moron. And intelligence agencies are often more hawkish than civilians in the White House or the State Department. Still, it’s a little unusual for the intelligence community to publicly say the president is mistaken on not one, not two, but three separate major issues. But wait, there’s more:

Perhaps the strongest rebuke of Mr. Trump’s security priorities comes in what is missing from the report: Any rationale for building a wall along the southwest border, which Mr. Trump has advertised as among the most critical security threats facing the United States. The first mention of Mexico and drug cartels comes on page 18 of the 42-page assessment, well after a range of other, more pressing threats are reviewed. Most pressing, as it has been for the past five years, are cybersecurity threats to the United States. For the first time, the report concluded that China is now positioned to conduct effective cyberattacks against American infrastructure, and specifically cited Beijing’s ability to cut off natural gas pipelines, at least briefly.

Keep in mind that the heads of the intelligence agencies are all Trump appointees. And apparently they all agree that he’s an idiot.

The full report is here.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.