Senate Want to 'Educate' Trump in US Intelligence Info and Not Attack Spy Chiefs

Published January 31st, 2019 - 06:00 GMT
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer  (AFP)
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (AFP)

US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has called on the country’s spy chiefs to “educate” President Donald Trump after his recent attack against the American intelligence community.

On Wednesday, Trump went on a twitter rant to attack his intelligence chiefs’ assessments on Iran’s growing power despite Washington’s pressure campaign.

In a letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Schumer asked the former senator, CIA Director Gina Haspel and FBI chief Christopher Wray hold a meeting with the Republican president.

"You cannot allow the President’s ill-advised and unwarranted comments today to stand. …He is putting you and your colleagues in an untenable position and hurting the national interest in the process. You must find a way to make that clear to him," Schumer wrote in the letter.

 

Trump’s tweets came in response to Tuesday statements by Haspel and Coats before the US Senate Intelligence Committee.

Haspel told the panel that, despite Trump’s decision last May to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the Islamic Republic has been “making some preparations that would increase their ability to take a step back.”

Coats also acknowledged that Tehran is not seeking to develop nuclear weapons capabilities.

Upon announcing his decision to leave the deal between Iran and six world powers – the US, the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany—Trump was under the impression that other signatories would follow his suit. But that never happened.

Trump hoped that re-imposing sanctions against Iran would force Tehran to halt its missile program and roll back regional influence. However, a lack of international support for the sanctions has cast doubt over the effectiveness of his plan.

The American head of state scolded Haspel and Coats for their testimony, calling them “extremely passive and naïve.”

“When I became President Iran was making trouble all over the Middle East, and beyond. Since ending the terrible Iran Nuclear Deal, they are MUCH different,” Trump said.

“But source of potential danger and conflict. They are testing Rockets (last week) and more, and are coming very close to the edge. There [sic] economy is now crashing, which is the only thing holding them back. Be careful of Iran. Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!”

Schumer asked Coats to make Trump understand "the facts and raw intelligence underlying the Intelligence Community assessments."

"Impress upon him how critically important it is for him to join you and the leadership of our intelligence community in speaking with a unified and accurate voice about national security threats," he added.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif took the opportunity to highlight the confusion within the US political system under Trump, asserting that even the American intelligence agencies “contradicted” the US commander-in-chief.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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