GOP chairman: Trump should 'respect' opinions of intel leaders

GOP chairman: Trump should 'respect' opinions of intel leaders
© Anna Moneymaker

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyThe Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants GOP wants commitment that Trump will sign budget deal Schumer warns Mulvaney against drawing hard lines on budget deal MORE (R-Ala.) on Sunday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report Trump attacks 'the Squad' as 'racist group of troublemakers' MORE's public dispute with U.S. intelligence agency leaders is "troubling to all of us."

"We should respect them," he said on CNN's "State of the Union," referring to the intelligence community. "Most of the time they are pretty much on point."

Last week, intelligence leaders released a threat assessment that differed in several stark ways with Trump's assessment of threats including the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, North Korea and Iran.


Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - Trump attack on progressive Dems draws sharp rebuke A brief timeline of Trump's clashes with intelligence director Dan Coats Chuck Todd on administration vacancies: 'Is this any way to run a government?' MORE and CIA Director Gina Haspel also offered testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee that seemed to contradict things the president has said on Iran.

Following the hearing, Trump called "the intelligence people ... extremely passive and naive" in a pair of tweets. "Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!" he added.

Trump later said the disagreement was "a false narrative."

"I value our intelligence community. Happily, we had a very good meeting, and we are all on the same page!" he tweeted following an Oval Office meeting.

Shelby on Sunday expressed concern over the communication between Trump and his intel leaders.

"I think there's got to be real good communications between the president and the director of the CIA and the director of national intelligence," Shelby said on CNN.

"These are professional people. The president's briefed every day on it. He's not an intelligence officer. None of us are. But they — the people on the front lines, the people who analyze who gather and disseminate intelligence information to our higher-ups, we should respect them."