President Donald Trump has alienated himself and his administration from the entire intelligence community in the United States despite it being their job to help him. Trump has claimed that the information which comes from the intelligence community is not valuable or viable, while simultaneously availing them of their services. It is a bizarre proposition which shows Trump’s own backward way of thinking. However, one analyst from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had enough of Trump’s rhetoric and resigned rather than having to serve Trump for another moment.
Edward Price, a CIA agent with over 10 years experience, quit the agency and wrote about his reasoning. He, in part, said:
I watched in disbelief when, during the third presidential debate, Trump casually cast doubt on the high-confidence conclusion of our 17 intelligence agencies, released that month, that Russia was behind the hacking and release of election-related emails. On the campaign trail and even as president-elect, Trump routinely referred to the flawed 2002 assessment of Iraq’s weapons programs as proof that the CIA couldn’t be trusted – even though the intelligence community had long ago held itself to account for those mistakes and Trump himself supported the invasion of Iraq.
Trump’s actions in office have been even more disturbing. His visit to CIA headquarters on his first full day in office, an overture designed to repair relations, was undone by his ego and bluster. Standing in front of a memorial to the CIA’s fallen officers, he seemed to be addressing the cameras and reporters in the room, rather than the agency personnel in front of them, bragging about his inauguration crowd the previous day. Whether delusional or deceitful, these were not the remarks many of my former colleagues and I wanted to hear from our new commander in chief. I couldn’t help but reflect on the stark contrast between the bombast of the new president and the quiet dedication of a mentor – a courageous, dedicated professional – who is memorialized on that wall. I know others at CIA felt similarly.
Mr. Price cannot be alone in his feelings, but he was eloquent in his reasons for leaving. Trump has done himself a disservice by disrespecting the intelligence community.
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