The Wall Street Journal has a story with that exact headline. “Spies Keep Intelligence From Donald Trump on Leak Concerns.” Considering the cluster that is the Trump administration at this point, that just might be a prudent thing to do. But are they? Once you get past the headline and dig into the story, it’s not so clear.
The story by Shane Harris and Carol Lee starts off pretty strong:
U.S. intelligence officials have withheld sensitive intelligence from President Donald Trump because they are concerned it could be leaked or compromised, according to current and former officials familiar with the matter.
But continue, and suddenly the headline and first paragraph are contradicted. First, the White House denies it:
A White House official said: “There is nothing that leads us to believe that this is an accurate account of what is actually happening.”
Then somebody from DNI denied it:
A spokesman for the Office of Director of National Intelligence said: “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.”
Granted, on the record denials are to be expected. But then you get to this:
It wasn’t clear Wednesday how many times officials have held back information from Mr. Trump.
The officials emphasized that they know of no instance in which crucial information about security threats or potential plotting has been omitted.
That’s pretty damned important, don’t you think? This doesn’t match the headline at all. Continue to read through, and they provide zero examples. Then comes the kicker:
Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said he has heard concerns from officials about sharing especially sensitive information with Mr. Trump.
“I’ve talked with people in the intelligence community that do have concerns about the White House, about the president, and I think those concerns take a number of forms,” Mr. Schiff said, without confirming any specific incidents. “What the intelligence community considers their most sacred obligation is to protect the very best intelligence and to protect the people that are producing it.”
“I’m sure there are people in the community who feel they don’t know where he’s coming from on Russia,” Mr. Schiff said.
Adam Schiff? First of all, he should change his name to avoid being confused with the Adam Schiff from the television series, ‘Law and Order’ who was played by the late Steven Hill. That Adam Schiff was great. Secondly, Schiff is nothing but a Democratic hack, and his word is as reliable as a three dollar bill. The man doesn’t open his mouth without a lie escaping.
There is no doubt the intelligence community and Donald Trump are not on the same page. If you’re not following John Schindler on Twitter, you should be. He has inside information that reveals the depth of the disdain the intelligence community has for President Trump. Of course, dumping on them during the Presidential campaign is not going to win you any favors.
Still, this story is weak. There is nothing in it that substantiates the headline. Unfortunately, not many people will read past the headline and copy editors know this.