President-elect Donald Trump plans on cutting down and restructuring the U.S. intelligence community, The Wall Street Journal reports.
A key intent of plan is to pare back headquarters staff at the Virginia based Central Intelligence Agency, and to possibly cut the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The Director of National Intelligence’s office was established after 9/11 to better coordinate intelligence sharing among the 17 different U.S. intelligence agencies. Trump’s team is concerned both organizations have become bloated in headquarters staff and are no longer mission effective.
“The view from the Trump team is the intelligence world [is] becoming completely politicized,” an anonymous official with alleged knowledge of Trump’s plans told TheWSJ. He continued, “They all need to be slimmed down. The focus will be on restructuring the agencies and how they interact.”
Trump’s pick for National Security advisor, Retired Army Lt. Gen Michael Flynn, is reportedly one of the main drivers behind the restructuring effort. Flynn is a proponent of sending senior intelligence officers into foreign outposts, and continually rotating intelligence analysts to gain them more exposure. Trump’s team reportedly plans on implementing this effort at the CIA.
Trump’s transition team vigorously denied the reports saying “These reports are false, all transition activities are for information-gathering purposes and all discussions are tentative. The president-elect’s top priority will be to ensure the safety of the American people and the security of the nation, and he is committed to finding the best and most effective ways to achieve it.”
Any effort to reorganize the CIA and ODNI will need the cooperation of Congress. The ODNI was created in 2004 by an act of Congress, and makes the head of that agency the chief intelligence officer to the President. The CIA’s budget and restructure is similarly controlled by Congress. Trump’s pick for CIA director, Congressman Mike Pompeo, served on the House Select Committee on Intelligence and will likely be heavily involved in the initiative.
This post has been updated
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