U.S. Intelligence: We Have Not Withheld Information From The President

Last week it was the fate of the travel ban.

This week, the new hotness is the intelligence community and the possibility that they may be the source of leaks to the media about President Trump’s administration, and are they keeping information from the president.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is saying, “No.”

“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,” the ODNI said in a statement late Wednesday, according to Politico.

The Wall Street Journal, citing current and former officials, reported Wednesday that some intelligence was being withheld from the president out of fear it would be compromised or leaked.

It’s an interesting concept: The intelligence community is holding back information for fear that it will be leaked by them.

Something like that (if you believe the concerns from Trump’s team).

The ODNI say that there have been instances of omitted sources and methods employed by agents, but nothing of crucial importance is being withheld from the president.

Officials told the Journal that intelligence agencies have withheld details from past presidents, but never out of fear over trustworthiness or leaks. The sources said concerns come largely from the president’s friendliness toward Russia and President Vladimir Putin.

And if there is even a shred of doubt, then holding certain information, like methods or the sources for reports is just cautionary and in the best interest of the nation, rather than an attempt to shut out the president.

Said Trump:

“From intelligence, papers are being leaked, things are being leaked; it’s criminal action,” Trump said Wednesday during a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“It’s a criminal act, and it’s been going on for a long time before me, but now it’s really going on,”

He tweeted the same day that the real scandal was that “classified information is illegally given out by ‘intelligence’ like candy.”

I’m pretty sure that’s an exaggeration.

There will likely be an investigation, but there is also bipartisan support for investigating Russian connections within the administration, so where this lands is going to be one for the history books.