President Donald Trump appears in no hurry to reconcile with top U.S. intelligence officials after belittling them on Twitter this week with the suggestion they “go back to school.”
Asked on Thursday if he has confidence in Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA Director Gina Haspel — who on Tuesday contradicted the president on national security issues like ISIS, Iran and North Korea — Trump refused to answer directly, saying instead that “Time will prove me right, probably,” Roll Call reported.
On Tuesday, Coats told senators ISIS continues to “stoke violence” in Syria.
On North Korea, Coats offered a much different analysis than his boss. He said U.S. intel agencies have detected “some activity that is inconsistent with full denuclearization,” which Trump repeatedly claims Kim has agreed to. The DNI also said Kim and other North Korean leaders “ultimately view nuclear weapons as critical to regime survival.”
Wednesday morning, Trump attacked the pair on Twitter, which Roll Call noted followed a Tuesday evening Fox News opinion show criticizing the intelligence chiefs — a show Trump frequently cites in his tweets.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded to Trump’s attack on intelligence officials by calling out Republicans, who continue to say or do little when the president blasts the very people counted on to keep him informed.
“I've tracked this very closely and one dismaying factor of it all is that the president just doesn't seem to have the attention span or the desire to hear what the intelligence community has been telling him. So for him to make the statement that he did yesterday that's cause for concern,” she said.
She called the president’s open rebuke of his intel honchos a “cause for concern” and urged Republican members to “either have an intervention with the president about that, or recognize the problem that it faces to our country and take some congressional action.”