British intelligence services, to include MI5, MI6 And GCHQ, are all officially on the record as separately stating that they don’t believe Trump will fulfill his campaign promises.
Business Insider reported that all 3 of the main British intelligence services are separately and officially on the record as saying that they don’t expect Trump to fulfill his campaign promises – something of concern to America’s closest ally.
MI5, MI6, and GCHQ [Government Communications Headquarters] — who deal with intelligence, foreign intelligence, and surveillance, respectively — have all gone on the record to say they doubt that the US president will deliver on promises he made in 2016.
The positions were revealed in statements to the UK Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, which published an annual report on Wednesday.
Member of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee had expressed concerns, stating that:
“Views that the president has expressed – particularly prior to his election – have the potential, if they were to become official policy, to pose difficulties for the UK–USA intelligence relationship.
“These include, inter alia, the potential for a change in the US relationship with Russia and Iran, and a change in policy on the use of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”
However, those viewpoints were starkly contrasted by the U.K.’s intelligence services.
Their individual assessments are as follows:
GCHQ representative is quoted in the report as saying:
I think it’s early days and obviously if some of the more extreme talk in the campaign was translated into policy or legislation, then that would be difficult… But we have no reason to think that will happen. I think the most important thing for us is that we know what’s going on, and that our staff continue to talk to each other, our lawyers continue to talk to each other and that we are aware of any fundamental changes in the legal position, but there’s no room to expect any.
An MI5 representative discussed Trump’s threat to return to waterboarding and other extreme measures as follows:
Whether this signals a likelihood to return to forms of abuse of detainees, I think we spent enough time in this room talking about that for you to know I would be very highly alert to any sort of changes like that. I have communicated internally already about this in MI5, that, you know, whatever happens, MI5 will operate within the law and by our values. So if any of that changes on the U.S. side, there will be a consequence in the relationship but, you know, we will not collude in any sort of change in that sort of behavior. Of course we won’t. But let’s not assume that is going to happen in the U.S.
MI6 offered the following:
If something happened which caused us fundamentally to revisit our presumption of legality (of the US agencies’ actions), which we have got now, hard won after many years after all the problems we have discussed (on detainee treatment and rendition), then that would be really difficult. But emphatically, I am not assuming that is going to happen. we are many steps away from that and I htink there are lots of good reasons why it would not.
Those assessments date back to December 2016, but as Business Insider reported, “So far their predictions appear to have held.”
Trump has demurred from withdrawing unilaterally from the Iran deal, leaving it to a Congressional battle instead.
Suggestions that the Trump White House may take a soft stance towards Russia have also yet to come through, and the sanctions regime continues amid the politically contentious investigation into potential Russian collusion during Trump’s presidential campaign.
Pledges by Trump to bring back waterboarding and “a hell of a lot worse” during the campaign have also not come to fruition.