The Possible Return of Donald Trump Sends Deep State into Tailspin

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 24: Republican presidential candidate former U.S. President Donald T
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The intelligence community is reportedly “on edge” over former President Donald Trump’s potential return to the White House and what it may mean for those who oppose him.

Politico — the outlet that published a debunked article implying the Hunter Biden laptop was Russian disinformation — interviewed 18 former officials and analysts who worked in the sprawling bureaucracy as either appointees or career officials, with the majority wanting to snipe at Trump anonymously, allegedly to “avoid provoking backlash.”

The piece cites Trump critic Fiona Hill — a Russia analyst and former intelligence official who served under George Bush and Barack Obama and went from the liberal think tank Brookings Institution to join the Trump National Security Council, where a number of holdovers from the Obama administration served.

Hill — who also just appeared on CBS News to bash Trump — told Politico:

He wants to weaponize the intelligence community. And the fact is you need to look with a 360 degree perspective. He can’t just cherry pick what he wants to hear when there are so many U.S. adversaries and countries that don’t wish the U.S. well. … If he guts the intel on one thing, he’ll be partially blinding us.

The critics and anonymous former officials warned that Trump could “overhaul the nation’s spy agencies in a way that could lead to an unprecedented level of politicization of intelligence.” They warned that Trump would “push even harder” than his first administration to oust people hostile to his political agenda.

While Politico acknowledged, “America’s spy agencies are never completely divorced from politics,” it implied that is only a problem under Trump:

[A]n overhaul of the type Trump is expected to attempt could undermine the credibility of American intelligence at a time when the U.S. and allies are relying on it to navigate crises in Ukraine and the Middle East. It could also effectively strip the intelligence community of the ability to dissuade the president from decisions that could put the country at risk.

Politico also cited Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director who oversaw the bureau’s launching of an investigation into the Trump campaign and whether it colluded with Russia — based on unvetted opposition research funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Convention. The debunked research claimed that Trump had taken part in a “golden showers” sexual act with prostitutes in Moscow. The dossier was then used as a “roadmap” for the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign.

McCabe tried to defend attaching the opposition research to an intelligence product briefed to then-President Barack Obama, which served as a pretext for a leak to CNN about the bogus research, and then its leaking shortly after to BuzzFeed and dissemination to the public.

The leak then prompted FBI Director James Comey to publicly confirm the bureau had begun an investigation, fueling a media frenzy throughout Trump’s administration until Special Counsel Robert Mueller found that there was no criminal collusion or wrongdoing by the Trump campaign.

The Trump critics and former officials then fretted that Trump would appoint supporters of his to intelligence positions — which every president has the right to do – and that they would be inexperienced.

The piece specifically mentioned “worries” about Kash Patel, who has an extensive resume as former principal deputy director of national intelligence, Pentagon chief of staff, director of counterterrorism at the National Security Council, senior aide to then-House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), and former federal prosecutor working on national security cases and federal public defender.

Kash Patel speaking with attendees at the 2022 AmericaFest at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

Kash Patel (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

“Patel is likely to return to serve under Trump if he is elected, raising worries among current and former intelligence officials about the preservation of sources and methods of U.S. intelligence,” the piece said despite there being no evidence he would expose any sources or methods.

Lastly, there was fretting that trust would be lost with Western allies’ intelligence partners if Trump is reelected.

The piece warned without any attribution that “much of the rebuilt trust could evaporate overnight if Trump is elected.”

“We may be more blind than ever if countries don’t trust us,” an anonymous former official claimed.

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