On Wednesday, Donald Trump blasted his own intelligence officials—on Twitter, of course—after Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, FBI Director Chris Wray, and CIA Director Gina Haspel appeared before the House Intelligence Committee to brief its members on present national security threats. Coats and the others gave assessments vastly at odds with Trump's own pronouncements on Russia, North Korea, and other nations, and none endorsed Trump's notion of a "crisis" on our southern border. This was enough for Trump to launch into one of his trademark tantrums of delusion and self-regard, telling the nation's "passive and naive" intelligence experts to "go back to school."
This is quite bloody obviously crackpot behavior from a commander in chief. That a sitting president is making national security decisions based on delusions he has invented in his own head, delusions that all of the intelligence agencies in the nation cannot dissuade him from, is tremendously dangerous. It will get people killed. It likely already has.
In response, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday wrote a public letter to Coats asking him to stage "an intervention" with Trump.
President Trump's criticism of the testimony you and other intelligence leaders provided to Congress yesterday was extraordinarily inappropriate and will undermine public confidence in the U.S. government's efforts to protect our national security and preserve U.S. power and influence abroad. [...]
I believe it is incumbent on you, Director Wray and Director Haspel to insist on an immediate meeting with the President to educate him about the facts and raw intelligence underlying the Intelligence Community assessments, and to impress upon him how critically important it is for him to join you and the leadership of our Intelligence Community in speaking with a unified and accurate voice about national security threats. He is putting you and your colleagues in an untenable position and hurting the national interest in the process. You must find a way to make that clear to him.
It is likely not possible to make that clear to Trump. He has repeatedly demonstrated that he lacks the capacity to understand why intelligence experts disagree with his own inventions; through either delusion, narcissism, or dementia, he cannot understand why his own off-the-cuff impressions of North Korea, or Iran, or Putin are not necessarily correct. He is not fit for office.
It is unclear what DNI Director Coats can do about that, absent the support of Trump's cabinet. He is unfit for office; in response to this transparently evident danger, we have gotten no White House response other than a public letter from an anonymous administration official assuring the public that his staff is acting to help thwart Trump's most destructive instincts.
The Republican Party continues, nearly to a person, to ignore Trump's dangerous and erratic behavior. The man is living in his own world; not just is he making pronouncements that can easily be proven to be lies, but he is ordering his administration to act on those false statements. It is untenable.
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