Just weeks prior to being sworn in as the next president of the United States, President-elect Donald Trump appears to be openly at war with his country’s intelligence agencies. On Tuesday night, Trump took to Twitter to insinuate that the men and women who staff the F.B.I., C.I.A., etc. are hard at work manufacturing evidence that the Russian government interfered with the U.S. electoral process via hacking.
As you may recall, Trump over the weekend told reporters — as he stood next to a flag-waving Don King — that he knows “things that other people don’t know about hacking,” and that he’d reveal more on “Tuesday or Wednesday.” In a tweet on Tuesday night, Trump mockingly put quotation marks around the word “intelligence” and suggested that he’d not be able to reveal what he promised to reveal because a briefing he was supposed to receive on the hacking matter had been postponed until Friday.
For what it’s worth, multiple intelligence officials have told the press that Trump is essentially full of sh*t, that the briefing in question was always scheduled for Friday.
Tuesday night’s tweet-trashing continues a pattern of Trump displaying open contempt for U.S. intelligence officials while parroting talking points espoused by Vladimir Putin, Russian government officials, and Russian state-controlled media. At some point, you have to wonder: why is he doing this? Could it be that he suspects he has a good idea of what it is they know and is launching pre-emptive strikes in an effort to discredit and undermine them before the information is made public?
Also, does Trump not grasp how royally screwed he could be by continuing to provoke and antagonize U.S. intelligence? As Sen. Chuck Schumer — a longtime friend of Trump — noted on MSNBC shortly after the tweet was posted, “He’s being really dumb to do this…you take on the intelligence community and they have six ways from Sunday of getting back at you.”
Get your popcorn ready, America.