Thursday on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” while discussing President-elect Donald Trump initially doubting the U.S. intelligence community’s assertion Russia was behind the hacking incidents in the 2016 presidential election, the former CIA Director Leon Panetta said if the people in the intelligence community “believe that somehow the president of the United States doesn’t trust what they are presenting,” then it will impact the quality of the intelligence the president will receive.
Panetta said, “It’s not a good situation for our country to have a president of the United States and soon to be commander in chief having this kind of contentious relationship with the intelligence community. It’s not good for our national security. It’s not good for the country. It sends the wrong message to the enemies that we don’t have our act together. It really does impact the credibility of the information that they are going after. But more importantly as you point out, it impacts the morale of those that are involved.”
“These are not Republicans and Democrats, these are good Americans who are working hard to provided the best intelligence possible to the president,” he continued. “As you said, they have to put their lives on the line. There are risky operations when it involves resource going out to try to get intelligence in Russian, in Iran, in North Korea, in ISIS, some very troubling areas. And they put their lives on the line and if they believe that somehow the president of the United States doesn’t trust what they are presenting, make no mistake about it, it’s going to impact the quality of intelligence that we get.”
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