Trump, Russia, and the CIA: Allies and Adversaries Confused

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When asked by The Cipher Brief about how both allies and adversaries might view President-elect Donald Trump’s early, contentious relationship with the CIA, former Acting Director of the CIA John McLaughlin remarked, “They are already scratching their heads bald about what is going on here, so I don’t think we can confuse them any more.”

Trump has been vehement in his dismissal of the CIA’s assessment that not only were the Russians behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), but they did so to support Trump’s campaign. He further disparaged the Agency by drawing attention to its faulty assessment of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program that was the basis for the 2003 Iraq War. And he dismissed the need to be briefed daily by the Intelligence Community (IC).

The Cipher Brief has become the most popular outlet for former intelligence officers; no media outlet is even a close second to The Cipher Brief in terms of the number of articles published by formers.” —Sept. 2018, Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 62

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