Jefferson Morley | March 7, 2019
Coats and Haspel: Trump Is ‘Engaged and Knowledgable’
You know those days at the office when you have to coddle your boss’s ego just because you’d like to keep your job?
Gina Haspel and Dan Coats had that kind of day.
They know the boss is cranky. Last month Trump rubbished Haspel’s testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee as “lame.” He griped about Coats within earshot of a Washington Post reporter.
After ABC News reported that Trump’s intelligence briefers have learned to focus on economic issues to keep his attention, the CIA director and the director of national intelligence, put out a rare public statement praising Trump.
“Speculation, including that from former and unnamed intelligence officers, about what occurs in our Oval Office briefings is wrong,” according to a joint statement from Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA Director Gina Haspel, which was provided to ABC News. “Simply put, these anonymous sources are not there as we deliver timely, unbiased intelligence and work alongside an engaged and knowledgeable President on the most complex national security issues.”
Is Trump really “engaged and knowledgeable?”
Such a statement may be true on certain issues, and thus defensible. It may be good for Haspel and Coats’ job security. But it undermines the reputations they have cultivated for speaking truth to power.