The intelligence community is withholding sensitive information from President Trump over concerns he cannot be trusted with the information, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Current and former officials told TheWSJ they are concerned about Trump’s ties with Russia and the level of support he publicly expressed for Vladimir Putin during the presidential campaign, and said the intelligence community is worried some of the information they give Trump could be leaked or compromised.
The decision to withhold certain information suggests a deep level of mistrust within the agencies toward Trump, and the leak underscores the developing narrative of a major rift between Trump and the intelligence community. Trump has at times praised and bashed the intelligence community in recent months. He blamed them Wednesday for leaking the news about Michael Flynn that led to his resignation. (RELATED: How The Nation’s Spooks Played The Game ‘Kill Mike Flynn’)
Officials told TheWSJ the withheld information was not crucial information about national security threats, and was in some cases regarding the sources and methods of the information. Agencies have withheld similar information from past presidents, the story notes, but not because they deemed those presidents untrustworthy.
The White House told TheWSJ they have seen nothing leading them to believe the report is an “accurate account of what is actually happening.”
John Schindler reported the intelligence community was withholding information from Trump in the Observer Sunday, writing extensively about what he called “the spy revolt” against the president.
“None of this has happened in Washington before,” he wrote, referring to the cloud of uncertainty regarding Trump’s relationship to Russia. “A White House with unsettling links to Moscow wasn’t something anybody in the Pentagon or the Intelligence Community even considered a possibility until a few months ago. Until Team Trump clarifies its strange relationship with the Kremlin, and starts working on its professional honesty, the IC will approach the administration with caution and concern.”
Update: The director of national intelligence disputed TheWSJ report in a statement released Wednesday: “Any suggestion that the U.S. Intelligence Community is withholding information and not providing the best possible intelligence to the President and his national security team is not true.”
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