CIA director denies withholding intelligence from Trump

CIA director denies withholding intelligence from Trump
© Greg Nash

CIA Director Mike Pompeo flatly denied a report that the U.S. intelligence community is withholding intelligence from the president, in a statement issued late Thursday.

“The CIA does not, has not, and will never hide intelligence from the President, period. We are not aware of any instance when that has occurred,” Pompeo said, calling a Wall Street Journal report to that effect “dead wrong.”

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The report “impugns the integrity of thousands of professional intelligence officers by peddling gossip without citing a single example to support its claims,” Pompeo said.

Citing current and former officials, the Journal reported Thursday that intelligence officials were withholding sensitive intelligence from President Trump because they were concerned it could be leaked or compromised.

Both the White House and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence denied the allegations.

But the report underscores deep uncertainty about the health of the relationship between the president and intelligence professionals. Trump has openly blamed the intelligence community — along with the media — for the downfall of his former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, who resigned on Monday amidst revelations that he misled Vice President Pence about the contents of a pre-inauguration phone call with the Russian ambassador.

“The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by ‘intelligence’ like candy. Very un-American!” the president tweeted earlier in the week.

Trump has called the leaks “criminal.”