Trump’s Targeting of Intelligence Agencies Gains a Harder Edge

They accelerated in July when the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said that the administration was considering revoking the clearances of Mr. Comey, John O. Brennan, the C.I.A. director under President Barack Obama; Michael V. Hayden, who was a C.I.A. director under President George W. Bush; and others.

The White House said a month later that the president was ordering the revocation of Mr. Brennan’s clearance. But the White House never followed through with the complex bureaucratic work it would have taken to strip the clearance, according to a person familiar with the process.

This year, after Mr. Coats and Gina Haspel, the C.I.A. director, offered assessments of the threat from Iran and North Korea at odds with Mr. Trump’s messaging, he unleashed a barrage of attacks on Twitter, suggesting they go back to school.

Ms. Haspel has been careful to cultivate a good relationship with both Mr. Trump and Mr. Barr, according to officials. But the latest inquiry will test her ability to stay in the good graces of her bosses, and the rank and file.

Former officials said if Mr. Trump was intent on calling out individual intelligence officers as he has with the F.B.I., Ms. Haspel would face an outcry. “What the leadership should do is say, ‘I am vouching for the information. If there is a problem, the problem is with me,’” said John Sipher, a former C.I.A. officer.

If Ms. Haspel shares the identities of C.I.A. informants outside the agency and the information leaks, he warned, she will lose credibility within the C.I.A.

Mr. Schiff predicted that both Mr. Coats and Ms. Haspel would defend the integrity of their agencies against any attacks by the White House or give up their posts like former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

“If it gets to a point they are asked to do things that are unlawful or jeopardize the men and women that work within the I.C., they should speak out,” he said, “and, if necessary, follow the example of Secretary Mattis.”

Katie Benner contributed reporting from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York.

Source

more recommended stories

  • Democratic Candidates Promise to Close Wealth Gap Between Blacks and Whites

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Four top Democratic.

  • In Face-Off With Iran, Escalation May Depend on Who Prevails Inside Washington and Tehran

    WASHINGTON — As Iran and the.

  • Immigrants Brought Riches to Urban Schools. Now They’re in the Shadows.

    BALTIMORE — Mary Donnelly, the principal.

  • As Passions Flare in Abortion Debate, Many Americans Say ‘It’s Complicated’

    Few states have a political history.

  • U.S. Escalates Online Attacks on Russia’s Power Grid

    After Mr. Trump’s inauguration, Russian hackers.

  • Justice Dept. Backs Mnuchin’s Refusal to Release Trump’s Tax Returns

    WASHINGTON — The Justice Department on.

  • A President With a Taste for Planes Has a Plan for Air Force One: Paint It Red, White and Blue

    WASHINGTON — As someone who fancies.

  • Roadside Blast in Niger That Hit Americans Shows Growing Threat, Officials Say

    WASHINGTON — The roadside bomb that.

  • New York City Allocates $250,000 for Abortions, Challenging Conservative States

    [What you need to know to.

  • Under Fire, Trump Says He Would ‘Absolutely’ Report Foreign Campaign Help

    WASHINGTON — President Trump appeared to.

  • The Weekly – Trailer – The Youngest Known Child Separated From His Family by the Trump Administration

    michael barbaro From The New York.

  • On Politics: Trump Would Accept Russia’s Help

    • Twenty Democratic presidential candidates will.

  • The Subject at the White House Was Criminal Justice.The Subtext Was the Election.

    Mr. Trump has defended himself against.

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders Leaving White House at the End of the Month

    WASHINGTON — Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the.

  • On Politics: Congress and Trump Clash Over Census

    • Senator Bernie Sanders on Wednesday.

  • Hope Hicks Agrees to Interview With House Panel

    WASHINGTON — Hope Hicks, one of.

  • State Department Defends Saudi Arms Sales Before Hostile House Panel

    WASHINGTON — A senior State Department.

  • ‘You Should Be Ashamed’: How Jon Stewart Became an Advocate for 9/11 Victims

    “It’s Congress’s job to fund it.

  • What Is Democratic Socialism? Whose Version Are We Talking About?

    Ultimately, though, Sweden isn’t what democratic.

  • 23 Democrats Are Running for President. Do Any of Them Know What They’re Doing?

    In the middle of May, the.

  • On Politics: Biden vs. Trump

    In the most ferocious day of.

  • A Truce Falters, and a Plan to Raise Congress’s Pay Falls Apart

    WASHINGTON — Last week, a group.

  • Climate Change Poses Major Risks to Financial Markets, Regulator Warns

    A White House spokesman, Judd Deere,.

  • Trump Calls Biden a ‘Loser’ Before Iowa Trip – Video

    Channels & Shows Home Search Donald.

  • Rachel Maddow, Chuck Todd and Lester Holt Among Moderators of First Democratic Debate

    The first debate of the Democratic.

  • How Much Will Age Matter in the 2020 Race?

    Hi. Welcome to On Politics, your.

  • On Politics: Trump Sees Future in Tariffs

    • After years of showing little.

  • Trump Says Mexico Tariffs Worked, Emboldening Trade Fight With China

    WASHINGTON — President Trump has concluded.

  • Trump Needs a Target to Stay Interested in His Campaign. For Now, It’s Biden.

    He has tried workshopping versions of.

  • Who Is Elizabeth Warren? | 2020 Democratic Candidate

    Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has.

  • Trump Defends ‘Beautiful’ Tariffs as a Negotiating Tactic

    President Trump on Monday defended his.

  • Ginsburg Hints at Sharp Divisions Ahead as Supreme Court Term Nears End

    It is, Justice Ginsburg said, “a.