If Trump doesn’t lose, and resoundingly, we won’t be able to say he didn’t warn us exactly what to expect.
Phillip Bump, in the Washington Post, “After dismissing intelligence experts, Donald Trump heads in for his classified briefing”:
… In an interview with “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday, Trump expressed skepticism of his own: about prominent members of the intelligence community. Asked if he “trusted intelligence,” Trump replied, “Not so much from the people that have been doing it for our country.”
“I mean, look what’s happened over the last 10 years,” he said, referring to the war in Iraq. “Look what’s happened over the years. I mean, it’s been catastrophic. In fact, I won’t use some of the people that are standards — you know, just use them, use them, use them, very easy to use them, but I won’t use them because they’ve made such bad decisions.”
This is probably mostly a reference to a letter released earlier this month in which 50 members of the Republican national security establishment warned of a Trump presidency. Many of them were involved in the decision-making process before the Iraq War…
Politico, “Trump makes intel community queasy”:
… Asked about Trump’s criticisms, the CIA deferred comment to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which in turn declined to comment. Such reticence is in line with the agencies’ traditional mandate to stay out of the political realm. And in many ways, most people in the intelligence community’s rank and file will follow that mandate no matter what happens in the campaign or on Election Day, analysts said.
“It’s probably, within the agency, extremely apolitical,” said Soufan Group analyst Patrick Skinner of the CIA, where he used to be a case officer. “You really just don’t talk about it.”
Skinner, added, however, that people at senior levels in the agencies “might be wondering about priorities.” He and others also said a Trump win in November won’t necessarily repel future recruits nor lead to mass retirements, at least not immediately.
“If there is a President Trump — that’s kind of a funny sentence to say — then there will probably be a lot of hope that the directors — all the top appointees — would be very diligent in their duties,” Skinner said. “There has to be some kind of faith that the system works, but he’s running on a no-faith-in-the-system campaign.”…
Within the broader intelligence industry — which includes companies that produce the technology and weaponry used by the various agencies — people are “incredulous,” according to a consultant with extensive contacts in that field. “People can hardly believe that it’s happening.”
“What people like is predictable outcomes,” the consultant said, pointing to Trump’s mercurial policy shifts as especially problematic for an industry that craves certainty. That being said, he added, “If the public indicates or seems to show that they’re going to vote for Trump, I would think that businessmen would revert to their typical behavior and figure out how they can get their share.”…