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 - Presented by Alibaba - House Democrats plagued by Biden agenda troubles GOP warns McConnell won't blink on debt cliff McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE (R-Ala.) on Sunday said President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump 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 CoatsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens Former national security officials warn antitrust bills could help China in tech race Cyber preparedness could save America's 'unsinkable aircraft carrier' 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."