Jefferson Morley | June 13, 2019
Trump Curbs CIA: He Promises Kim He Won’t Use Relatives as Assets
After reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s late half-brother Kim Jong-nam, who was assassinated in 2017, had been a CIA asset, President Trump weighed in while taking questions from the press while en route to Marine One.
The president said he had received a “beautiful letter” from Kim, and called the North Korean leader “wise. Then he said
I saw the information about the CIA with regard to his brother or half brother, and I would tell him that would not happen under my auspices. I wouldn’t let that happen under my auspices.”
E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post responded
The president of the United States is effectively scolding our intelligence services for doing their jobs. He’s saying to an adversary: Don’t worry, I’ve got your back. Our terrible agents won’t trouble you again.
Not for the first time, we have to ask whether any allied foreign intelligence service can trust us with information — and what risks a would-be informant will take on our behalf. Such a source might well ponder whether Trump would send a “very personal, very warm” letter to one of his dictator friends outing our covert ally. And how much information can our CIA share with our commander in chief?