Top Dem blasts Trump: Officials 'risk' lives for intelligence he tosses aside

The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee is blasting President TrumpDonald John TrumpWatergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump In private moment with Trump, Justice Kennedy pushed for Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination: book Obama: 'Everybody needs to chill out' about differences between 2020 candidates MORE for “tossing aside” the material that career officials risk their lives to gather. 

“The President has a dangerous habit of undermining the intelligence community to fit his alternate reality,” Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerBipartisan senators urge national security adviser to appoint 5G coordinator Hillicon Valley: Commerce extends Huawei waiver | Senate Dems unveil privacy bill priorities | House funding measure extends surveillance program | Trump to tour Apple factory | GOP bill would restrict US data going to China Klobuchar unveils plan to secure elections as president MORE (D-Va.) tweeted on Wednesday. “People risk their lives for the intelligence he just tosses aside on Twitter.”

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Trump earlier Wednesday characterized intelligence officials as “extremely passive and naive” on threats posed by Iran after top officials appeared to break with him in high-profile congressional testimony.

Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsHillicon Valley: Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract in court | State antitrust investigation into Google expands | Intel agencies no longer collecting location data without warrant Intelligence agencies have stopped collecting cellphone data without warrants: letter This week: Democrats churn toward next phase of impeachment fight MORE and other top intelligence officials testified before Warner’s committee on Tuesday that a new U.S. assessment does not show Iran to be pursuing new nuclear weapons capabilities.

The testimony was out of step with Trump’s own pronouncements of the threat posed by Tehran. Trump cited Iran's nuclear ambitions as part of his reasoning for withdrawing the U.S. from a landmark nuclear pact with Tehran negotiated under the Obama administration. 

“We continue to assess that Iran is not currently undertaking the key nuclear weapons-development activities we judge necessary to produce a nuclear device,” the assessment concluded. 

The developments have appeared to open up a chasm between the president and his top intelligence officials.

“The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong!” Trump tweeted Wednesday. The president claimed Iran has behaved differently since he withdrew the U.S. from the nuclear accord with Iran but insisted it remains “a source of potential danger and conflict.”

“They are testing Rockets (last week) and more, and are coming very close to the edge. There economy is now crashing, which is the only thing holding them back. Be careful of Iran,” Trump continued. “Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!"