Donald Trump came away from a meeting confused. As a result, he worked himself into a rage and erupted his ire all over the White House. Later, he scorched the acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Joseph Maguire in the Oval Office after POTUS decided that Maguire had betrayed him.
Wednesday, Maguire submitted his letter of resignation, noting that the president had requested it. Now, the US Ambassador to Germany has replaced Maguire, Richard Grenell. He has had no experience in the intelligence field or in management. Given that he will be managing 17 different intelligence agencies. This has been no word whether he can even qualify for the security clearance that he needs to have so that he can hear briefings himself.
Up until his explosion at McGuire, the career employee had been under top consideration for the real DNI. Trump has always liked acting directors/managers, because they remain unbalanced. Plus, they do not have to go through the Senate hearing and can also be fired more easily.
What set the president off was an incorrect rumor that McGuire’s intelligence office heading up election security gave a “classified briefing last Thursday to the House Intelligence Committee on 2020 election security,” according to The Washington Post.
At first, it was unclear what set Trump off for certain. One source suggested the commander-in-chief was under the misguided perception that an intelligence officer, Shelby Pierson gave the House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) a private briefing. That meant the intelligence officer would have placed information in the hands of the president’s perceived enemy, and Schiff might leak it for political gain..
The next day Trump called Pierson and others into a meeting in the Oval Office. The president was furious with Maguire and blamed him for the supposed transgression involving Pierson.
The people who were in that meeting did speak to the press, but naming them would be a true career stopper. They chose to remain anonymous and spoke about Trump’s blowup:
‘There was a dressing dowThat was the catalyst. Maguire in favor of Grenell.’
Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Mark Warner (D-VA) released a statement that said the president:
‘[Had chosen someone] without any intelligence experience without any intelligence experienceapparently in an effort to sidestep the Senate’s constitutional authority to advise and consent on such critical national security positions.’
Former DNI Dan Coats frequently argued with Trump about Russia interfering and attacking the 2016 presidential election. Putin has also been actively attacking the 2020 presidential election.
The Intelligence Committee apparently has to soften the edges of their reports for the Democrats, but people have not said to what degree. The Republicans, became furious that the intelligence officer briefed the Democratically-led committee, including one of Trump’s foot soldiers, Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA):
‘[E]lection security and foreign interference in the run-up to the 2020 election.’
Committee officials claimed that there was no special meeting even with the committee chair:
‘Members on both sides participated, including ranking member [Devin] Nunes, and heard the exact same briefing from experts across the intelligence community,. No special or separate briefing was provided to one side or to any single member, including the chairman.’
The former Navy SEAL, Maguire, realized his career was over and came away “despondent.” One White House official said:
‘The president likes acting [officials] better.’
Trump has been culling out any officials he believed were not loyal to him, especially in the Justice Department, the National Security Council, the State Department, and the Pentagon and replacing them with people wearing the red MAGA cap.
As acting DNI, Grenell would have overseen the intelligence community’s efforts to combat election interference and disinformation, but he has been skeptical of Russia’s role in 2016.
He wrote an op-ed piece for r Fox News in 2016. Senior U.S. intelligence officials, who have said Russia’s operation in 2016 was” sweeping and systematic, and unlike previous Russian or Soviet efforts:”
‘Russian or Russian-approved tactics like cyber warfare and campaigns of misinformation have been happening for decades.’
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.