“In everything one must consider the end.”
Jean De la Fontaine — French poet (1621 – 1695)
“In August of 2016, I became political, when I endorsed Hillary Clinton with an op-ed in The New York Times. (…) I was concerned about what is the impact it would have on the agency. (…) But I don’t think I fully thought through the implications.”
Former (acting) CIA Director Mike Morell
In the summer of 2016, former (acting) CIA Director Mike Morell endorsed Hillary Clinton over Trump. Now, in a revealing self-critical interview, Morell finally acknowledges that he — as well a several other former CIA directors all highly critical of the US president — failed to fully “think through the negative backlash generated by their going political”. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
RELATED POST: David Ignatius: “The CIA is entering a danger zone.”
I do not think that many people expected President Trump to have a “normal relation” with the Intelligence Community but what actually unfolded under our eyes during the year 2017 is simply out of this world.
Just one example. Recently, Former CIA Director John Brennan called Trump a grave risk to the US national security! Then, Brennan went on to call Trump’s words a national disgrace. How much worse can this situation become? Not much, I am afraid… But the worse is never sure!
In the beginning
Just hours before he was due to receive his first classified briefing from members of US intelligence agencies, Presidential candidate Donald Trump declared that — if elected — he would not employ the “standard intelligence community figureheads” because he does not trust them owing to previous “catastrophic failures.”
“I mean, look what’s happened over the last 10 years. It’s been catastrophic.
Very easy to use them, but I won’t use them, because they’ve made such bad decisions.
Look at Iraq, look at the Middle East. If we would have never touched it, it would have been a lot better.”
During the Summer 2016 (See One Year Ago — TRUMP & The CIA Briefings), Former NSA director Michael Hayden told CNN’s Jake Tapper [Today on The Lead with Jake Tapper] that Donald Trump is a “clear and present danger” to America.
MICHAEL HAYDEN: Look, we gotta call balls and strikes the way we see them, alright? We all felt strongly enough about what we believe to be a clear and present danger, that we felt compelled to say what we said…
JAKE TAPPER: You just called Donald Trump a clear and present danger.
MICHAEL HAYDEN: Well, if he governs in any way close to the language that he has used in the campaign, I fear for our future. [RealClearPolitics]
Leon Panetta (CIA Director 2009-2011) said that Trump was “not qualified to be President of the United States.”
“You’ve got now a presidential candidate who is in fact asking the Russians to engage in American politics and I just think that’s beyond the pale.
I have a lot of concerns of his qualities of leadership or lack thereof. That kind of statement only reflects the fact that he truly is not qualified to be president of the United States.” [CNN]
Michael Morell (CIA – acting – Director 2012-2013) wrote that Trump has undermined U.S. security. Morell also claims that Trump is an ‘unwitting agent’ of Russia.
“Donald J. Trump is not only unqualified for the job, but he may well pose a threat to our national security.
In sharp contrast to Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Trump has no experience on national security. Even more important, the character traits he has exhibited during the primary season suggest he would be a poor, even dangerous, commander-in-chief.
President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia was a career intelligence officer, trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them. That is exactly what he did early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump’s vulnerabilities by complimenting him. He responded just as Mr. Putin had calculated.”
“In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation” [CNN Politics]
A Simple Question
Considering the “kind words” of former CIA Directors Morell, Panetta, Hayden and Brennan, can anyone actually be surprised by the total mess we are witnessing? And the situation at the FBI hardly seems better…
So, what are we supposed to make from Morell’s late apology? I do not know but I will suggest an explanation.
In the summer 2016, HRC was leading the polls by at least 10 points. No one — not even the folks in the Russian government according to the US IC official statements– was seriously thinking that Trump might be elected.
So far, to the best of my knowledge, only the French DGSE had prepared a dossier regarding the possibility of Trump’s victory. Please, understand that this does not mean that the DGSE expected Trump to win, but they at least prepare the intelligence for such a possibility. (Of course, other Intel Agencies certainly did too, but that has never been revealed as far as I know.)
Morell must have come to the conclusion that HRC was a sure bet and he simply positioned himself to be the next CIA Director. His words of endorsement must be understood as the true work of a psycophant.
Michael Morrell: Trump misunderstands the CIA
December 2016 — Michael Morell, a former acting director and deputy director of the CIA, joins “CBS This Morning” from Washington to discuss President-elect Trump’s pushback against CIA claims that Russia tried to interfere in the U.S. election.
Ex-Spy Chief: Russia’s Election Hacking Was An ‘Intelligence Failure’ — The Global Politico
Former CIA Director : “I failed to fully think through the negative backlash generated by going political.”