The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee is blasting President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default 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 WarnerDemocrats confront 'Rubik's cube on steroids' Advocates call on top Democrats for 0B in housing investments Democrats draw red lines in spending fight MORE (D-Va.) tweeted on Wednesday. “People risk their lives for the intelligence he just tosses aside on Twitter.”
The President has a dangerous habit of undermining the intelligence community to fit his alternate reality. People risk their lives for the intelligence he just tosses aside on Twitter. https://t.co/BfRlqcM6rd— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) January 30, 2019
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 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 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!"