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Tag: CIA

Trump’s Pick for CIA Pledges to Continue Investigating Russia

Rep. Mike Pompeo

Rep. Mike Pompeo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for CIA director, Rep. Mike Pompeo, said Thursday he won’t balk at investigating Russia over  hacking and other issues.

His remarks are in direct contrast to Trump, who downplayed the seriousness of the hacks and said he wants to improve his relationship with Russia.

“So far, nothing in the C.I.A.’s 69-year history has prepared it to deal with a president who is as openly derisive of its work as Mr. Trump,” The New York Times reports. 

Trump has publicly criticized America’s spies, which is “very dangerous,” said former CIA director Leon E. Panetta.

“It sends a message to our adversaries, to our enemies, that somehow they might be able to take advantage of us because we are so in conflict in terms of the president and the intelligence community,” Panetta said.

Pompeo said the CIA will continue to aggressively investigate Russia.

“I will continue to pursue foreign intelligence with vigor no matter where the facts lead,” Pompeo said. He added that he would do this “with regard to this issue and each and every issue.”

Under his leadership, Pompeo said the CIA would provide “accurate, timely, robust and clear-eyed analysis of Russian activities.”

Other Stories of Interest

U.S. Intelligence Agencies Informed Trump of Salacious Allegations in Dossier

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The nation’s intelligence services revealed to President-elect Donald Trump that they and Russia had salacious allegations about him in a 35-page dossier that included comprising personal information.

U.S. officials provided Trump, President Obama and congressional leaders with a two-page summary of the dossier after it became exceedingly clear that many news organizations had the information, the The Washington Post  reports. The FBI, CIA, Director of National Intelligence and the NSA agreed it was a good idea to inform Trump of the allegations. 

Trump denied the claims in the dossier, calling the information fake news and accusing intelligence agencies of Nazi-like tactics.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper Jr. said he told Trump that a “private security company” made the allegations and that U.S. spy agencies had “not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable.”

“However, part of our obligation is to ensure that policymakers are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security,” Clapper said.

Trump, an Early Critic of Intelligence Agencies, Plans to Restructure the CIA

CIA headquarters

CIA headquarters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump, who has mocked U.S. intelligence agencies, plans to restructure the CIA and reduce staffing at its Virginia headquarters by moving more people into field posts worldwide. 

Sources familiar with the planning told the Wall Street Journal that Trump believes the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has become politicized and bloated. 

“The view from the Trump team is the intelligence world has become completely politicized,” said the individual, who is close to the Trump transition. “They all need to be slimmed down. The focus will be on restructuring the agencies and how they interact.”

Trump has criticized the CIA and other intelligence agencies for what he says are misrepresentations of Russia trying to influence the presidential election.

His criticism of those agencies has drawn fire from both sides of the aisle.

Trump Plans Long-Awaited Meeting with FBI, CIA on DNC Cyber Attacks

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump plans a long-awaited meeting with the leaders of the CIA, FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Friday.

Sean Spicer, a spokesman for Trump, said Wednesday that the meeting is focused on intelligence agencies’ final report on suspicions of Russia hacking the Democratic National Committee.

Trump is expected to met with CIA Director John Brennan, FBI Director James Comey and DNI’s James Clapper.

The briefing could be contentious because Trump continues to deny there’s sufficient evidence to show that Russia was behind the cyber attack.

In fact, Trump pointed recently to the WikiLeaks f0under, who insisted none of the leaked information came from Russia.

Journalist, Researcher Sue U.S. Spy Agencies for Records about Russian Hacking

foiaBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An investigative reporter and a researcher at Harvard have filed a open records lawsuit this week against the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence for information about Russia interfering with the U.S. presidential election.

The suit was filed by investigative reporter Jason Leopold and Ryan Shapiro, a PhD candidate at MIT and researcher at Harvard, after the government agencies failed to provide records, Recode reports

The FOIA seeks information between Congress and the federal intelligence agencies and between the FBI and White House.

The CIA has expressed confidence that Russia interfered in the election in the months leading up to the November contest.

Recode reports:

The plaintiffs seek information about any ongoing investigation into ties between Donald Trump or anyone associated with his campaign and interference from the Russian government in the election. Leopold and Shapiro also asked for communications between Congress and the Republican and Democratic campaign committees, as well as Hillary Clinton’s campaign in reference to Russian involvement with the 2016 presidential race.

CIA, FBI Disagree on Veracity of Claims That Russia Hacked Emails to Help Trump Win

CIA headquarters

CIA headquarters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The CIA and FBI have contrasting opinions about the veracity of claims that Russia was involved in the hacking of emails of the Democratic National Committee.

CIA officials told reporters that the intelligence agency is fairly certain that Russia’s motives were to help Donald Trump win the election. But the FBI is less certain and said there hasn’t been conclusive evidence about the motive, CNN reports.

“At this point, there appears to have been a combination of motivations,” one US law enforcement official said. “They wanted to sow discord and undermine our systems. It’s clear not even the Russians thought he would win.”

Democrats and Republicans are using the evidence – or lack of evidence – to make partisan points.

“The certainty with which it is being portrayed that the intelligence community fingered Russia and revealed multiple attacks — those are being overblown and put forward with a certainty that doesn’t exist,” said one Republican congressional aide familiar with discussion among top leadership and committee members. “Absolute work of fiction by whoever is leaking this information to the press.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer said Sunday that the lack of consensus between the two agencies is reason enough to investigate.

“The fact the CIA and FBI disagree shows the need for a bipartisan investigation to get to the bottom of this. The investigation should be tough, strong, bipartisan and have access to all materials, classified and not,” Schumer said.

Irony of Trump’s Choice for Secretary of State Draws Criticism from Ex-FBI Agents

Former CIA Director David Petraeus

Former CIA Director David Petraeus

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump’s choice of Gen. David Petraeus to be the secretary of state has drawn criticism from within the FBI.

Trump relentlessly attacked the FBI for failing to prosecute Hillary Clinton for using a private email server. But ironically, Trump wants to appoint Petraeus, who was charged after he confessed to handling classified material to his mistress and biographer. He resigned in 2012.

“It should and will rankle anyone who is objective and who works with classified info,” Ellen Glasser, a 24-year FBI veteran who now teaches criminology at the University of North Florida, told the Hill. 

“Notwithstanding his past decorated service, serving in the Cabinet is a privilege that should not be afforded to someone whose security clearance was yanked and who could not get another one the normal way,” she added.

Federal prosecutors said Petraeus intentionally mislead authorities during the investigation.

“One of the issues that many at the FBI would have would be less the classification violations than the alleged lying to the FBI during the investigation,” said Michael German, a former FBI agent who is now a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice.

“It’s the standard that’s imposed on agents,” he said. “Even in the smallest misconduct case, what every agent knows is that the misconduct isn’t going to get you fired; it’s the lack of candor.”

FBI, NSA, CIA Expected to Expand Surveillance Powers Under Trump

computer-photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI, NSA and CIA are expected to receive expanded surveillance powers under President-elect Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress, drawing opposition from privacy advocates and some lawmakers.

Trump’s first two appointment to law enforcement and intelligence agencies – Republican Senator Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Republican Representative Mike Pompeo for director of the Central Intelligence Agency – are proponents of expanded domestic government spying, Bloomberg Technology reports. 

Bloomberg wrote:

The fights expected to play out in the coming months — in Senate confirmation hearings and through executive action, legislation and litigation — also will set up an early test of Trump’s relationship with Silicon Valley giants including Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google. Trump signaled as much during his presidential campaign, when he urged a consumer boycott of Apple for refusing to help the FBI hack into a terrorist’s encrypted iPhone.

An “already over-powerful surveillance state” is about to “be let loose on the American people,” said Daniel Schuman, policy director for Demand Progress, an internet and privacy advocacy organization.