Intelligence chiefs at odds with Trump on ISIL, North Korea, Iran

World Today

There’s a growing divide between the intelligence community and President Trump over what threats America faces. CGTN’s Jim Spellman dissects the differences.

At a congressional hearing, U.S. intelligence chiefs presented their “Worldwide Threat Assessment,” placing China near the top of the list.

The intel assessment did not lay out evidence of wrongdoing by China and in fact points out China’s increased contributions to U.N. peacekeeping missions.

“The Chinese counter-intelligence threat is more deep, more diverse, more vexing, more challenging, more comprehensive and more concerning than any counter-intelligence threat I can think of,” said FBI Director Chris Wray.

Beijing rejects the assessment and notes the U.S. has the most powerful military in the world and said China presents no threat.

“China has always advocated for a new security concept which is common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable. We hope the U.S. can abandon its zero-sum confrontational way of thinking, have perspective in greater power relations, follow the trend of peace and development, and work with China, Russia and the international community to jointly maintain world peace and security,” said Geng Shuang, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman.

Read the DNI report HERE

In several areas, the U.S. intelligence community directly contradicts President Donald Trump.

In December, Trump declared, “We have defeated ISIS in Syria…”

The CIA director Gina Haspel said, “They’re the largest Sunni terrorist group, and they still command thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria.”

In June, Trump wrote, “There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.”

The Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said, “We currently assess that North Korea will seek to retain its WMD capabilities and is unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production…”

When Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal last May, he warned that Iran would soon have a nuclear weapon. The CIA chief said Iran is still in compliance with the deal, despite the U.S. pulling out and placing sanctions on Tehran.

On Wednesday, Trump lashed out at his own intelligence chiefs on Twitter, writing in part: “The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong!”

Other so-called threats Trump has hyped, such as the porous U.S. border with Mexico, weren’t even included in the report.

Marc Ginsberg discusses the growing divide of US intelligence and the White House

CGTN’s Elaine Reyes spoke with Marc Ginsberg , senior adviser at Counter Extremism Project, about the growing divide between the U.S. intelligence community and the White House.