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 TrumpGraham: America must 'accept the pain that comes in standing up to China' Weld 'thrilled' more Republicans are challenging Trump New data challenges Trump's economic narrative 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 WarnerLawmakers sound alarm on China's disinformation campaign in Hong Kong Facebook users in lawsuit say company failed to warn them of known risks before 2018 breach New intel chief inherits host of challenges 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 Coats10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall 11 Essential reads you missed this week Trump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move 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!"