One of the dominant themes of the 2016 Presidential campaign was President Trump’s combative attitude towards the US intelligence establishment. His distrust of the intelligence establishment was front and center in headlines throughout the campaign, and it was no surprise that the intelligence establishment didn’t like him either. In fact, the entire tenor of Trump’s first term has been marked by his fight against the intelligence community and the deep state actors within it who are trying to undermine his administration.
From the day Trump was first elected, the intelligence community has had it in for Trump. The Steele dossier, Russiagate, and every bit of anti-Trump news that has made headlines has come from the intelligence community. But even the intelligence community can’t create something that isn’t there. Now that the Mueller report has failed to uncover evidence of collusion with Russia, Trump feels safe once again to come out swinging against the intelligence community.
Of course, Trump has made a series of own goals in relation to the intelligence and foreign policy establishments too. His picks for senior positions such as the Director of National Intelligence and Director of Central Intelligence have been straight from the swamp, establishment hawks who often publicly disagree with Trump. The relationship between Trump and the intelligence community has often been one of complete dysfunction. So now Trump is pulling no punches and taking aim at intelligence agencies that have been running amok.
We’ll see whether Trump’s next pick for Director of National Intelligence will be able to do anything to rein in the intelligence community. Odds are that he won’t. Trump doesn’t seem to understand that appointing a few top people won’t do anything when the deep state benefits from an entrenched bureaucracy and individuals who have been there for decades. Clearing out the rot isn’t like popping a zit or amputating a gangrenous finger. It’s a cancer that’s been metastasizing within the US government for over 70 years. Anything less than full-scale firings and upheaval will fail.
With Trump now setting his sights on the intelligence agencies, you can bet that they’re going to be setting their sights on him too. They will leave no stone unturned in their aim to defeat Trump and elect his Democratic opponent. We can only hope that voters see through the inevitable BS that will emanate from the swamp creatures and stop the soft coup dead in its tracks. And we should hope that the intelligence community will abide by the results of the election and not pull any dirty tricks like it has in the past. Otherwise we can kiss republican government goodbye, assuming the intelligence community hasn’t already killed it.