The Fraying of the President’s Relationship with the Intelligence Community

President Donald Trump’s administration appears to be in disarray after the resignation, or firing, of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Flynn and others in the Trump camp have reportedly had contact with the Russian government that signals a cozy and potentially scandalous relationship between key staff and the Kremlin.

Trump blames the media and “illegal leaks” from the intelligence community for the resignation of Flynn and has called for private investigations into the sources within the intelligence community. Trump has not shown any public concern for Russia’s infiltration of his administration.

Flynn resigned after just 25 days at the White House.

It’s pretty remarkable,” says David Shepardson, a reporter covering government for Reuters. ”No one’s resigned from [this] office in that short of a time.”

Trump has on several occasions bashed the intelligence community.

It’s not a good way to start your relationship,” says Andy Arena, executive director of the Detroit Crime Commission and former special agent in charge with the FBI. Arena says the intelligence community plays an important role in the president’s ability to do his job. But he says it’s important to get all the details of Flynn’s interaction with Russian officials before judging whether it was a criminal offense.

I think that’s going to be key to this,” says Arena. “Is this a rogue action or [from] someone above him?”

There have been reports that the intelligence community is hesitant to provide President Trump with some information because of his administration’s actions.

It’s hard to see how it gets righted in the long term,” says Shepardson. He says this is just the beginning of a lot of work for journalists..

This is not the end of the story by any means.”

To hear more of the conversation on Detroit Today, click on the audio player above.



Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

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