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 ShelbyHouse pushes back schedule to pass spending bills Top Republican says Trump greenlit budget fix for VA health care GOP senators not tested for coronavirus before lunch with Trump MORE (R-Ala.) on Sunday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal plan to contain Washington protests employs 7,600 personnel: report GOP Rep calls on primary opponent to condemn campaign surrogate's racist video Tennessee court rules all registered voters can obtain mail-in ballots due to COVID-19 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.

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Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsTrump gives Grenell his Cabinet chair after he steps down German lawmaker, US ambassador to Germany trade jabs Intelligence agencies have hired outside consultants to improve communication with Trump: report 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."