Politics: Trump’s Targeting of Intelligence Agencies Gains a Harder Edge - PressFrom - US
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PoliticsTrump’s Targeting of Intelligence Agencies Gains a Harder Edge

21:50  25 may  2019
21:50  25 may  2019 Source:   nytimes.com

Trump Suggests He Authorized Cyber Attack on Russia: ‘It Happened During My Administration’

Trump Suggests He Authorized Cyber Attack on Russia: ‘It Happened During My Administration’ President Donald Trump hinted to Fox’s Steve Hilton that he authorized a cyber attack against Russia during the 2018 midterms, saying “the whole thing happened and it happened during my administration.” Hilton was speaking with Trump as part of a full interview to air Sunday night. “It’s been reported this year that you personally authorized […]

Trump ' s rejection of intelligence agency assessments that Russia interfered in the 2016 election Trump ' s Twitter blast at Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA Director Gina Haspel on Trashing the Iran deal was a key part of his 2016 campaign platform, and he had more to gain

Trump chides National Security Agency for possible 'privacy violations' and taking part in 'Witch Hunt'. U.S. President Donald Trump ’ s frequently contentious relationship with the country’s intelligence agencies took another turn Tuesday when he questioned whether the National Security

Trump’s Targeting of Intelligence Agencies Gains a Harder Edge© Doug Mills/The New York Times At the urging of Attorney General William P. Barr, President Trump has granted him new authorities to examine how the Russia investigation started.

WASHINGTON — President Trump tried somewhat clumsily last year to revoke the security clearance of the former C.I.A. director who played a role in opening the Russia investigation. He then wanted to release classified documents to prove he was the target of a “witch hunt.”

Both attempts petered out, hampered by aides who slow-rolled the president and Justice Department officials who fought Mr. Trump, warning he was jeopardizing national security.

Trump allows attorney general to declassify information about origins of Russia probe

Trump allows attorney general to declassify information about origins of Russia probe Trump allows attorney general to declassify information about origins of Russia probe

At president-elect’ s first press conference since July, originally called to explain how he would avoid conflicts of interest, Trump called Russia dossier ‘fake news’.

WASHINGTON — President Trump plans to assign a New York billionaire to lead a broad review of American intelligence agencies , according to administration officials, an effort that members of the intelligence community fear could curtail their independence and reduce the flow of information that

But this week, Attorney General William P. Barr engineered a new approach. At Mr. Barr’s urging, Mr. Trump granted him new authorities to examine the start of the Russia investigation, demonstrating a new level of sophistication for an old line of attack. Unlike Mr. Trump’s hollow threats and name-calling, Mr. Barr’s examination of how the intelligence community investigated the Trump campaign could offer a more effective blueprint for the president to take aim at his perceived political enemies.

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“The president is not known for the precision, judiciousness or thoughtfulness of his attacks, but he is in attack mode here and we seem to be opening a new front,” said David Kris, the head of the Justice Department’s national security division during the Obama administration.

Trump moves to escalate investigation of intel agencies

Trump moves to escalate investigation of intel agencies President Donald Trump is directing the U.S. intelligence community to "quickly and fully cooperate" with Attorney General William Barr's investigation of the origins of the multi-year probe into whether Trump's 2016 campaign colluded with Russia.The move marks an escalation in Trump's efforts to "investigate the investigators," as he continues to try to undermine the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe amid mounting Democratic calls to bring impeachment proceedings.Press secretary Sarah Sanders says Trump is delegating to Barr the "full and complete authority" to declassify documents relating to the probe.Trump claims his campaign

Josh Campbell writes that Trump ' s performance in Helsinki -- in which he appeared to believe Putin, a former Russian spy, over his own US intelligence community -- endangers the American people.

WASHINGTON — President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia directed a vast cyberattack aimed at denying Hillary Clinton the presidency and installing Donald J. Trump in the Oval Office, the nation’ s top intelligence agencies said in an extraordinary report they delivered on Friday to Mr. Trump .

A spokeswoman for the Justice Department and a lawyer for Mr. Trump did not respond to messages seeking comment. Mr. Trump told reporters on Friday that he hoped the attorney general “looks at everything, because there was a hoax that was perpetrated on our country.”

Mr. Trump took the highly unusual step on Thursday of granting Mr. Barr the power to declassify the most closely guarded secrets of the C.I.A. and the country’s 15 other intelligence agencies. Mr. Barr had asked for the authority to facilitate his review of the intelligence agencies’ involvement in the early stages of the Russia investigation.

The president delegated it hours after declaring that several officials overseeing the investigation had committed treason, a capital offense.

Mr. Trump’s latest action is a drastic escalation of his yearslong assault on the intelligence community. Since taking office, he has tried to cement the narrative that the Obama administration illegally spied on his campaign, making an apparent attempt to distract from the investigation into his associates’ ties to Russia.

Trump gives Barr power to declassify intelligence related to Russia probe

Trump gives Barr power to declassify intelligence related to Russia probe In a memo issued late Thursday, the president ordered intelligence agencies to cooperate with attorney general’s audit of surveillance surrounding Trump’s campaign.

After meeting with US intelligence officials at Trump Tower, Trump did not endorse the conclusion of Russian interference but said he would task his It was the latest turbulence in what is shaping up to be an acrimonious relationship with US intelligence agencies . Trump has repeatedly dismissed the

Trump ' s apparent distrust of US spy agencies has manifested in his public statements — most recently on Wednesday, when he described During a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, Trump reprised his criticisms of intelligence leaks, calling it "a criminal

Now he appears to have in Mr. Barr an aide willing to open an investigation to prove Mr. Trump’s suspicions.

Mr. Barr has not made his motivation clear. But in three months as attorney general, he has aligned himself with the president’s dim view of the inquiry. He declined to knock down the notion that the Russia investigation was a witch hunt, described investigative efforts into the Trump campaign as “spying” and begun the multiagency review into the roots of the investigation. Mr. Barr also cleared Mr. Trump of wrongdoing in the obstruction of justice inquiry by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, whose investigators pointedly declined to do so.

Mr. Barr served as a driving force in securing the power to declassify government secrets, and the lead-up to Thursday’s announcement demonstrated an amount of planning that went beyond previous similar forays by Mr. Trump and his aides. In July, when they announced that they planned to take away the security clearance of the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, they had not done the homework to discover he no longer had one.

Potential Clash Over Secrets Looms Between Justice Dept. and C.I.A.

Potential Clash Over Secrets Looms Between Justice Dept. and C.I.A. President Trump’s order allowing Attorney General William P. Barr to declassify any intelligence that sparked the opening of the Russia investigation sets up a potential confrontation with the C.I.A., effectively stripping the agency of its most critical power: choosing which secrets it shares and which ones remain hidden. On Friday, Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, said the agencies under his purview would give the Justice Department “all of the appropriate information” for its review. But Mr. Coats, a seasoned politician, also included a not-so-subtle warning that his agency’s secrets must be protected.

Michael Hayden says disparaging comments about US spies could hurt the moral authority of their leaders.

Mr. Trump ’ s comments at the news conference echoed the criticism he unleashed in a series of tweets early Wednesday morning. In those messages, the president accused intelligence agencies of “illegally” leaking information “just like Russia.” The “fake news media is going crazy with conspiracy

Mr. Barr asked for the White House to grant him additional, far-reaching powers for his review, according to two administration officials. The White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, who was an assistant to Mr. Barr during his first stint as attorney general under President George Bush in the early 1990s, oversaw the effort to grant Mr. Barr’s request, the officials said.

And though the White House was ready last week to release the memo outlining his new powers, Mr. Barr asked for the White House to wait until he had taken care of outstanding business, including telling the heads of all the relevant intelligence agencies about the coming change.

When the White House released the memo on Thursday evening, it landed with authority and a presentation that signaled a concerted effort unlike Mr. Trump’s tweets or stream-of-consciousness comments to reporters. The document was written in legalese and issued as a memorandum on White House letterhead.

For Democrats, Mr. Barr’s newfound powers served as a sign that Mr. Trump had found a new, and potentially effective, tool in his war on the deep state.

“This is a president who will lash out and destroy anything if he believes it will suit his interests,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. “And he now has a capable lieutenant in the attorney general to help him do just that.”

Intel chief warns Barr could imperil national security by declassifying documents

Intel chief warns Barr could imperil national security by declassifying documents The remarks come after Trump granted Barr sweeping investigative powers Thursday.

The White House asserted that Trump believes Russia is still targeting the U. S ., despite his apparent answer to a reporter' s question. In an interview with CBS News' Jeff Glor airing Wednesday evening, Trump expressed confidence in U. S . intelligence agencies and said he agreed with their assessment.

President-elect Donald J. Trump left a meeting on Friday at One World Trade Center in New The conclusions were part of a declassified intelligence report, ordered by President Obama, that was But the declassified report contained no information about how the agencies had collected their data

Democrats and some current and former national security officials are concerned over Mr. Barr’s inquiry into the intelligence agencies partly because it upends the relationship between the law enforcement and intelligence communities.

After fears grew that the Nixon administration had politicized the intelligence agencies in the 1970s, the Justice Department emerged as a neutral overseer of the intelligence agencies.

“The attorney general was supposed to help ensure the intelligence agencies would be respectful of privacy, operate in legal limits and be apolitical as well,” said Mr. Kris, the founder of the Culper Partners consulting firm. But Mr. Trump’s efforts to personalize and politicize law enforcement inverted that order.

By moving forward with the review, Mr. Barr is bolstering the president’s unfounded claims that a so-called deep state spied on his campaign.

Little more than a month after taking office, Mr. Trump accused Mr. Obama and the F.B.I. on Twitter of illegally wiretapping Trump Tower. The tweets set off a firestorm, and White House officials and the president’s aides scrambled unsuccessfully to prove Mr. Trump’s claims.

Mr. Trump has also frequently been at odds with the intelligence agencies, drawing a rebuke from his director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, when he stood alongside President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in Helsinki last year and dismissed the agencies’ conclusions that Moscow interfered in the election.

He also prompted harsh criticism from former national security officials, but his efforts to target them were ultimately futile.

House Intelligence chief warns spy agencies of Trump 'politicization'

House Intelligence chief warns spy agencies of Trump 'politicization' U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff on Friday warned the FBI and U.S. spy agencies that President Donald Trump is trying to "politicize" U.S. intelligence and law enforcement. Schiff criticized Trump for giving Attorney General William Barr "sweeping" powers to declassify or downgrade the secrecy of government reporting while conducting what the Justice Department is calling a "review" of "intelligence activities" related to the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign.

Starting in March 2016, the Russian military intelligence agency GRU sent "spearphishing" emails targeted The GRU (using the names Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear) gained access to the computer network of Federal prosecutors have accused Trump ' s former campaign chief, Paul Manafort, of

Targeting Officers are integral to the planning and implementation of Directorate of Operations (DO) foreign intelligence collection, counterintelligence, and covert action operations. You will combine specialized training, advanced analytic skills, the most sophisticated analytic tools available, and

They accelerated in July when the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said that the administration was considering revoking the clearances of Mr. Comey, John O. Brennan, the C.I.A. director under President Barack Obama; Michael V. Hayden, who was a C.I.A. director under President George W. Bush; and others.

The White House said a month later that the president was ordering the revocation of Mr. Brennan’s clearance. But the White House never followed through with the complex bureaucratic work it would have taken to strip the clearance, according to a person familiar with the process.

This year, after Mr. Coats and Gina Haspel, the C.I.A. director, offered assessments of the threat from Iran and North Korea at odds with Mr. Trump’s messaging, he unleashed a barrage of attacks on Twitter, suggesting they go back to school.

Ms. Haspel has been careful to cultivate a good relationship with both Mr. Trump and Mr. Barr, according to officials. But the latest inquiry will test her ability to stay in the good graces of her bosses, and the rank and file.

Former officials said if Mr. Trump was intent on calling out individual intelligence officers as he has with the F.B.I., Ms. Haspel would face an outcry. “What the leadership should do is say, ‘I am vouching for the information. If there is a problem, the problem is with me,’” said John Sipher, a former C.I.A. officer.

If Ms. Haspel shares the identities of C.I.A. informants outside the agency and the information leaks, he warned, she will lose credibility within the C.I.A.

Mr. Schiff predicted that both Mr. Coats and Ms. Haspel would defend the integrity of their agencies against any attacks by the White House or give up their posts like former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

“If it gets to a point they are asked to do things that are unlawful or jeopardize the men and women that work within the I.C., they should speak out,” he said, “and, if necessary, follow the example of Secretary Mattis.”

Katie Benner contributed reporting from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York.

GOP takes aim at Comey, Brennan.
Republicans are targeting former FBI Director James Comey and former CIA Director John Brennan as they seek to bring more attention to what they say was an unfair investigation of President Trump launched in the Obama administration. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The effort to spotlight the intelligence officials comes as Democratic calls to impeach President Trump rise in the wake of special counsel Robert Mueller's first public remarks about his investigation.

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