For the first time in United States history, intelligence operatives are refusing to share sensitive information with the White House because they fear Russia is listening in.
Former National Security Analyst John R. Schindler reported in The New York Observer that the U.S. intelligence community (IC) is “pushing back” against the Trump administration because Trump and his staff are incompetent, dishonest, leaky and the White House is “penetrated by the Kremlin.”
“Our Intelligence Community is so worried by the unprecedented problems of the Trump administration — not only do senior officials possess troubling ties to the Kremlin, there are nagging questions about basic competence regarding Team Trump — that it is beginning to withhold intelligence from a White House which our spies do not trust,” Schindler wrote.
Schindler also said that Trump has “gone out of his way” to vilify the intelligence community and that his national security “guru,” retired General Mike Flynn, is either lying about his communication with the Russian government regarding U.S. sanctions or he has no memory of breaking the law.
A senior Pentagon official told Schindler that U.S intelligence believes “the Kremlin has ears inside the SITROOM,” also known as the Situation Room – where highly sensitive information is discussed.
“There’s not much the Russians don’t know at this point,” the official said.
Schindler notes this quandary is unprecedented and specifically unique to the current administration, “None of this has happened in Washington before. A White House with unsettling links to Moscow wasn’t something anybody in the Pentagon or the Intelligence Community even considered a possibility until a few months ago. Until Team Trump clarifies its strange relationship with the Kremlin, and starts working on its professional honesty, the IC will approach the administration with caution and concern.”
As long as Trump continues to badmouth the IC, Schindler explains the issue becomes extremely risky, “President Trump is prone to creating crises foreign and domestic with his incautious tweets. In the event of a serious international crisis of the sort which eventually befalls almost every administration, the White House will need the best intelligence possible to prevent war, possibly even nuclear war. It may not get the information it needs in that hour of crisis, and for that it has nobody to blame but itself.”
And we’re just starting week four.
*The New York Observer is owned by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.