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Podcast: The growing rift between Trump and his intelligence agencies, and why it’s cause for concern
March 22, 2017 / 3:18 PM / 5 months ago

Podcast: The growing rift between Trump and his intelligence agencies, and why it’s cause for concern

DAY 9 / JANUARY 28: In his first call as president with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Trump denounced a treaty that caps U.S. and Russian deployment of nuclear warheads as a bad deal for the United States, according to two U.S. officials and one former U.S. official with knowledge of the call. When Putin raised the possibility of extending the 2010 treaty, known as New START, Trump paused to ask his aides in an aside what the treaty was, these sources said. Trump then told Putin the treaty was one of several bad deals negotiated by the Obama administration, saying that New START favored Russia. Trump also talked about his own popularity, the sources said. The White House declined to comment. It referred Reuters to the official White House account issued after the Jan. 28 call, which did not mention the discussion about New START.Jonathan Ernst

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.

The views expressed in this article are not those of Reuters News.

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