Donald Trump kicked off the New Year by trashing U.S. intelligence agencies and accusing them of concocting the whole Russian hacking thing. He did so shortly after telling the press that he knew more than most people about hacking, but he wasn’t going to reveal this wisdom until this Tuesday or Wednesday. Then he decided it wouldn’t happen until Friday while claiming that the intel agencies moved his briefing (they did not).
Trump has demonstrated that he doesn’t articulate much about the “age of computer,” even as Don King attempted to cheer him on while waving flags. He’s almost certainly blowing smoke, but not only does he think he knows hacking, he’s certain that intel is a breeze. So, he wants to scale back the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and he has plans for restructuring the CIA too. From the Wall Street Journal:
President-elect Donald Trump, a harsh critic of U.S. intelligence agencies, is working with top advisers on a plan that would restructure and pare back the nation’s top spy agency, people familiar with the planning said. The move is prompted by his belief that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has become bloated and politicized, these people said.
One of the people familiar with Mr. Trump’s planning said advisers also are working on a plan to restructure the Central Intelligence Agency, cutting back on staffing at its Virginia headquarters and pushing more people out into field posts around the world. The CIA declined to comment.
For a month, Trump’s been beefing with the CIA, which is about the same amount of time that’s passed since a secret CIA report concluded that it was “quite clear” that Russia hacked in an effort to get Trump elected. Also — and this is telling — Trump’s appointee for national security advisor, Michael Flynn, previously directed the Defense Intelligence Agency until James Clapper forced him out in 2014. Clapper has been the Director of National Intelligence since 2010 (although he will leave his post soon). Now, Trump wants to scale back Clapper’s agency.