President Trump is summoning New York billionaire Stephen A. Feinberg, the co-founder of Cerberus Capital Management, to lead a complete review of all U.S. intelligence agencies according to the New York Times. Trump is ordering the review after complaining about the sheer amount of leaks that are coming out regarding his administration.
Mr. Feinberg is currently a member of Trump’s economic advisory council and has extremely close ties to Trump’s chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, and the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
What exactly the intelligence review will comprise of we’re not sure of yet since only Congress can lawfully order any major shakeups in the agencies – but it’s clear that Trump is trying to send a message to the same people who have been continuously defying him since he became elected president.
Some people are even suggesting that this is the first step to Donald Trump officially declaring war against the intelligence community as a whole – saying the leaks were “illegal.” He even called them “un-American.” He thinks that there are several members within the community who were motivated for “political reasons.”
One of those leaks led to the downfall of his National Security Advisor Michael Flynn on Monday, who announced his resignation after media scrutiny over phone transcripts proved that he spoke about Russian sanctions, even though he told Vice President Mike Pence and the American people that no such conversation ever took place.
Trump also seems to be taking the largely unnecessary action of ordering a review because he probably doesn’t like some of the reports coming out of the grapevine, which allege that national security officials are prepared to “go nuclear” against him and that given the information they have on him, Trump “will die in jail.”
Regardless – Trump’s review is likely to further anger the community that is supposed to be supplying the president with information so he’ll better be able to do his job – but most of the information they give him directly contradicts his worldview. And – because of that – Trump just doesn’t trust the information. Makes sense.
That aside – many intelligence officials don’t even see a point to the review other than payback. If Mr. Feinberg does come up with any policy proposals he will just have to get them by members of Congress first, and they will likely have their own ideas.
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