Our Intelligence Community is so worried by the unprecedented problems of the Trump administration—not only do senior officials possess troubling ties to the Kremlin, there are nagging questions about basic competence regarding Team Trump—that it is beginning to withhold intelligence from a White House which our spies do not trust.
That the IC has ample grounds for concern is demonstrated by almost daily revelations of major problems inside the White House, a mere three weeks after the inauguration. The president has repeatedly gone out of his way to antagonize our spies, mocking them and demeaning their work, and Trump’s personal national security guru can’t seem to keep his story straight on vital issues.
That’s Mike Flynn, the retired Army three-star general who now heads the National Security Council. Widely disliked in Washington for his brash personality and preference for conspiracy-theorizing over intelligence facts, Flynn was fired as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency for managerial incompetence and poor judgment—flaws he has brought to the far more powerful and political NSC.
Flynn’s problems with the truth have been laid bare by the growing scandal about his dealings with Moscow. Strange ties to the Kremlin, including Vladimir Putin himself, have dogged Flynn since he left DIA, and concerns about his judgment have risen considerably since it was revealed that after the November 8 election, Flynn repeatedly called the Russian embassy in Washington to discuss the transition.
The article goes on to lay out a rather stunning case for why the intelligence agencies feel that Doanld Trump, nor members of his administration, are to be trusted with the state secrets or intelligence concerning our allies as well as our enemies.
I found this portion in particular to be troubling:
What’s going on was explained lucidly by a senior Pentagon intelligence official, who stated that “since January 20, we’ve assumed that the Kremlin has ears inside the SITROOM,” meaning the White House Situation Room, the 5,500 square-foot conference room in the West Wing where the president and his top staffers get intelligence briefings. “There’s not much the Russians don’t know at this point,” the official added in wry frustration.
You know I have, on some level, already assumed much of this.
However having it confirmed by intelligence agents is still a little disconcerting.
After all how can a president and his administration work to protect this country, and make smart decisions, if they have no idea exactly what is actually happening?
So is this article believable? I mean I know it speaks to our own confirmation bias, but does it stand up to scrutiny?
Well first off it is the world's oldest Sunday newspaper.
Secondly it quotes from a number of other news outlets that are reporting on similar facts about Trump, his ties to Russia, and his disdain for the intelligence community.
There is also the fact that numerous other respectable reporters and news outlets seem to accept the reporting at face value.
Then there is also this article from Politico:
A top deputy to National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was rejected for a critical security clearance, effectively ending his tenure on the National Security Council and escalating tensions between Flynn and the intelligence community.
Well it is fairly clear that at least one member of Trump's team is unacceptable to the intelligence community.
And Nancy Pelosi essentially feels the same way about Flynn himself:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Saturday called for the suspension of Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, until an FBI probe determines the exact nature of his “secret contacts” with Russian officials. The congresswoman also said Flynn should have his security clearance revoked.
So yes all of that, plus what we know already about Trump's troubling ties to Putin, certainly lends an air of credibility to this story.
Which means that I guess we now have some confirmation that Donald Trump is seen by US Intelligence as a potential double agent.
I swear if this were the plot for a TV movie, I would turn it off for being too unbelievable.