‘Amok’

| John McLaughlin
John McLaughlin
Former Deputy Director, Central Intelligence Agency
  • a-mok (adverb) – to behave uncontrollable and disruptively. Synonym: go berserk

In the midst of debate over whether President Donald Trump’s pick to replace Dan Coats as the next Director of National Intelligence is qualified for the job, the President made comments on Tuesday that may explain his thinking. 

Talking to a group of reporters, the President said that he had chosen U.S. Congressman from Texas John Ratcliffe to fill the job because “I think we need somebody like that in there.  We need somebody strong that can rein it in.  Because, as I think you’ve all learned, the intelligence agencies have run amok.  They have run amok.”

It’s not the first time that the President has expressed his displeasure with the Intelligence Community.  He said publicly that his intel chiefs should ‘go back to school’ in January after their intelligence assessment didn’t measure up to his own opinions on threats posed by Iran.  Now, the comments come as the President nominates someone who is more aligned with the President’s own view on the Russia threats, to lead the organization that oversees the entire intelligence community. 

The Cipher Brief spoke with former Acting CIA Director and Cipher Brief Expert John McLaughlin about the President’s comments and whether they mean much anymore.

 

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The Author is John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin is a distinguished practitioner in residence at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.  He served as the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2000-2004 and Acting Director of the CIA in 2004.

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