A day after ridiculing his prime intelligence officers as “passive and naive” and claiming they have been ignorant about world affairs, President Trump on Thursday mentioned the media had fabricated a battle and that the officers have been “misquoted” by the press after a public congressional listening to that was carried stay on tv.
The administrators of the FBI and the CIA, the director of nationwide intelligence and different officers testified Tuesday about worldwide threats to U.S. nationwide safety, revealing vital variations between what the intelligence neighborhood has concluded and what the president claims about Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, the prospect for nuclear talks with North Korea, the power of the Islamic State and different safety points.
Trump lashed out on the intelligence chiefs on Twitter, calling their assessments “fallacious” and suggesting that “Intelligence ought to return to high school!”
However on Thursday, Trump claimed the intelligence chiefs had advised him their remarks had been taken out of context, and he asserted that there was no distance between him and his advisers.
“Simply concluded an ideal assembly with my Intel staff within the Oval Workplace,” Trump tweeted, with an image of CIA Director Gina Haspel, Director of Nationwide Intelligence Daniel Coats and others seated across the Resolute Desk. The officers “advised me that what they mentioned on Tuesday on the Senate Listening to was mischaracterized by the media – and we’re very a lot in settlement on Iran, ISIS, North Korea, and many others.,” Trump wrote. “Their testimony was distorted press….”
“I’d recommend you learn the COMPLETE testimony from Tuesday,” the president added. “A false narrative is so dangerous for our Nation. I worth our intelligence neighborhood. Fortunately, we had an excellent assembly, and we’re all on the identical web page!”
The listening to earlier than the Senate Intelligence Committee was public and carried on a number of TV networks. Coats, talking on behalf of the opposite 5 witnesses, submitted 42 pages of written testimony on a variety of safety threats. Video of the listening to was posted on the committee’s web site.
“They mentioned that they have been completely misquoted, they usually have been completely — it was taken out of context,” Trump mentioned in an alternate with reporters. “I’d recommend that you simply name them. They mentioned it was faux information, which frankly didn’t shock me.”
A consultant for the CIA declined to remark. A consultant for the Workplace of the Director of Nationwide Intelligence didn’t reply to a request for remark.
Not one of the businesses whose leaders testified have issued retractions or amendments to their written or spoken statements.
The president has had a contentious relationship with the intelligence businesses since earlier than he took workplace. In the course of the marketing campaign, he tried to undermine public confidence within the intelligence neighborhood’s unanimous conclusion that Russia had interfered with the 2016 election to assist elect Trump.
However this week’s episode has seen a number of the fiercest criticism but from the president. In an alternate with reporters earlier than his assembly with Haspel and Coats, Trump was requested whether or not he nonetheless had confidence within the two leaders “to provide you good recommendation.”
“No, I disagree with sure issues that they mentioned,” Trump replied. “I feel I’m proper, however time will show that. Time will show me proper, in all probability.”
The Republican and Democratic leaders of the intelligence committee defended the officers.
“The media didn’t make the President get up on Wednesday and trash the intelligence neighborhood on Twitter,” Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), the panel’s vice chairman, mentioned in a press release. “This is identical President who stood on stage in Helsinki and advised the world he believed Vladimir Putin over his personal intelligence leaders,” Warner mentioned, referring to a summit assembly final yr between Trump and the Russian president. “No tweet or Oval Workplace photo-op can undo two years of the President’s complete disrespect for the intelligence neighborhood.”
A spokeswoman for Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the committee chairman, declined to touch upon Trump’s tweets. However the senator advised CNN on Wednesday that he has “final religion within the intelligence neighborhood.”
Seung Min Kim contributed to this report.