| 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 E. McLaughlin is the Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) where he teaches a variety of courses and conducts research.

Mr. McLaughlin served as Acting Director of Central Intelligence from July to September 2004 and as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence from October 2000 to July 2004. He was a US Army Officer in the 1960s, with service in Vietnam. He comments on foreign... Read More

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