Trump Hates His Spies
Podcast — a historian of the CIA tells us exactly why that’s bad
by HELEN COSTER
Even before he took office, Donald Trump was denigrating the U.S. intelligence community — in large part because of its investigation into Russian influence on the presidential election, which challenged the integrity of his victory.
That relationship has continued to sour, through Trump’s controversial speech at CIA headquarters and his attack on leaks that helped lead to National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s resignation.
As president, Trump’s relationship with the intelligence community hasn’t improved. His supporters believe there is a “Deep State” operating within the intelligence community, which is trying to undermine the administration.
What happens when a president doesn’t trust his intelligence agencies, or they don’t trust him? How does this kind of fractured relationship affect intelligence gathering — and the military operations that come from it — overseas?
This week on War College, national security expert Tim Weiner — author of Legacy of Ashes, his award-winning history of the CIA — examines Trump’s complicated relationship with the U.S. intelligence community. He explores the president’s power over his agencies — not just to pick a CIA director, but to sign orders for operations overseas. And he offers historical context for what can happen when things go horribly wrong.