Trump's Risky Message: He Doesn't Trust His Intelligence Chiefs

A woman holds an anti Trump sign during inauguration protests in New York City

In a January 6 report, the US intelligence community assessed with "high confidence" Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign created to "to undermine public faith in the USA democratic process".

US President Donald Trump has said he might take the services of a NY billionaire to review American intelligence agencies and the leaks flowing out of them which have fuelled a string of damaging news reports on his administration. Stephen Feinberg, the co-founder of private investment firm Cerberus Capital Management, is worth an estimated $1.27 billion, $1.5 million of which he donated to a pro-Trump group during the 2016 campaign.

Known as reclusive and media-shy, Feinberg gives few interviews.

The New York Times reported Thursday that the signs of Feinberg stepping in was widely panned within the intelligence community.

"There is nothing that leads us to believe that this is an accurate account of what is actually happening", a White House official told the Journal.

President Donald Trump Vice President Mike Pence right and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus left walk together on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington to greet Harley Davidson Harley Davidson executives and union representatives

Trump, for his part, has used the mushrooming scandal as a reason to direct his ire at intelligence agencies for leaking information he says undermines him as well as the media - not at members of his own team who possibly collaborated with the Kremlin.

Feinberg has no intelligence experience, nor any experience in conducting wide-scale review of large government agencies. The report also concluded that during the presidential campaign, Russian Federation developed a preference for then-candidate Trump and aspired to help him win. He has gone as far as accusing them of conspiring against him and orchestrating leaks in order to damage him and his aides and advisors, including former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was forced out this week over revelations that he had illicit contact with Russian officials prior to Trump's inauguration.

He added: "The spotlight has finally been put on the low-life leakers!"

'Leaking, and even illegal classified leaking, has been a big problem in Washington for years, ' the president wrote.

According to the paper, the decision "underscores the deep mistrust that has developed between the intelligence community and the president over his team's contacts with the Russian government, as well as the enmity he has shown toward USA spy agencies.".



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