Donald Trump today accused the CIA of being part of a partisan conspiracy to stop his presidency.
And it’s nuts.
It’s the equivalent of the CIA trying to overthrow our own government. If Trump really believes this, then a lot of folks at the CIA are looking at jail time.
This is the farthest out Trump has gone in his ongoing repudiation of America’s intelligence community. Just a few days ago, when the CIA reported that the Russians had interfered in the elected in order to get Trump elected, Trump responded by claiming falsely that the CIA was responsible for pushing us into war in Iraq.
“These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” the Trump transition team said in a statement late Friday. “The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and “Make America Great Again.'”
In fact, George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld (at the Pentagon) were responsible. It was Rummy who centralized intelligence at the Pentagon so he, like Trump today, could ensure the intelligence came out the way he wanted it to.
Here are Trump’s tweets from this morning:
Trump explicitly calls the CIA analysis on Russia a “conspiracy theory,” and he suggests that the timing of the CIA is further proof that the CIA is lying.
First off, the timing is easily explained. It takes time to gather the evidence and reach a conclusion, and I suspect the intelligence agencies, and President Obama himself, felt they would be undermining the election, and Trump’s candidacy, by announcing this kind of bombshell right before the election.
Unlike James Comey’s FBI, it seems the CIA, and our sitting President, have scruples.
And it’s not just Trump. “Coincidentally,” Trump’s former foreign policy adviser, Carter Page, who was always too cozy with Russia, is in Moscow today. Page just told an audience that the US government may have been behind the DNC hack, and set Russia up to take the blame. Per a NYT reporter in Moscow:
There is a much larger problem here. Donald Trump is a Russian apologist, who continues to surround himself with top staff who are Russian apologists, and who is now actively undermining America’s top intelligence experts because they’re telling himself something he doesn’t want to hear.
At the same time, Trump is outright refusing to attend his daily intelligence briefings because they’re boring, and more likely, because he was briefed on Russia’s efforts to interfere with our election and didn’t want to hear it. So the briefings ended, and Trump handed them, and the guts of the presidency, to his religious right VP Mike Pence.
And this weekend we hear that Trump plans to hand the State Department over to a certifiable “friend of Putin.”
Where does it end? And when does it end? Has Donald Trump, in five short weeks, managed to turn the Republican party in to a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Kremlin? It sounds outlandish, but things have already gone too far. During the campaign, we worried about Trump’s bizarre alignment with Russian foreign policy goals over American best interests. But we figured he wasn’t going to win, so no harm no foul. But now Trump is our incoming president. And he’s about as close to a TV villain as you can get.
Fortunately, a few Republicans — though only a few — are voicing concern about Trump’s apparent and inexplicable allegiance to Russia. McCain has spoken out, as has Graham and Rubio. But Jesus, where are the rest?