The Wall Street Journal has reported that U.S. intelligence agencies have been instructed to restrict the amount of information given to Donald Trump. The impetus behind this is that, in Trump’s hands, sensitive information has a greater chance to be leaked.
Between Micheal Flynn’s ties to Russian intelligence, and Trump’s open berating of U.S. intelligence agencies, it’s hardly a surprise that information is being withheld from him. If anything, paring information down is in accordance with his preferences, as he’s said in the past he would receive weekly intelligence briefings instead of the traditional (and arguably necessary) daily ones.
In the past, presidents have been withheld information, but only for the sake of protecting a source; all the president would need to know is the information revealed by the source, and the intelligence community’s appraisal of the information’s value. In this case, Trump is being denied information based on his lack of trustworthiness; his expressed admiration for Putin and challenge (however “sarcastic” it was) to Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails have classified him as unstable with vital intelligence.
Of course, in response to all of this, Donald Trump has accused intelligence agencies of leaking information as a means of undermining him:
The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by "intelligence" like candy. Very un-American!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2017
One of Trump’s calling cards throughout his campaign was that he was a political “outsider.” Well, it seems he’s burned enough bridges with the intelligence community that he will remain an outsider. Now Trump will lack intelligence in two different ways.
[via Wall Street Journal]