Trump insists his intelligence chiefs lied to the Senate

Trump intelligence officials

President Donald Trump threw his intelligence officials under the bus on Thursday to claim that he’s not lying about ISIS, Iran, North Korea, and Russia, making it appear that they lied to Congress during their testimony.

On Tuesday, Trump’s intelligence chiefs, including FBI Director Christopher Wray, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA Director Gina Haspel all appeared before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing to testify about a world threat assessment report.

All of them agreed that North Korea is still a nuclear threat, that Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons, and that ISIS is not defeated in Syria, thus contradicting all of Trump’s claims.

Trump responded by lashing out at his intelligence officials and desperately insisted that he’s right and they are wrong.

That brings us to Thursday, and after a meeting in the Oval Office with those same officials, Trump basically accused them of lying to the Senate Intelligence Committee and claimed they all agree with him.

But the testimony is very clear. It was on television and everything. People can literally go back and listen to what these officials said, and what they said is indisputable.

On Iran, Coats said that Iran is not trying to build a nuclear weapon as Trump claims and that it was Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the sanctions he put in place that is currently causing Iran to consider violating it despite complying over the last year.

“We do not believe Iran is currently undertaking the key activities we judge necessary to produce a nuclear device,” Coats said. “While we do not believe Iran is currently undertaking the key activities we judge necessary to produce a nuclear device, Iranian officials have publicly threatened to push the boundaries of JCPOA restrictions if Iran does not gain the tangible financial benefits it expected from the deal.”

CIA Director Gina Haspel agreed with that assessment.

“At the moment technically they are in compliance but we do see them debating amongst themselves as they fail to realize the economic benefits they hoped for from the deal,” she said.

Iran would have received those economic benefits had Trump honored the deal.

As for ISIS, it’s been clear since Trump first declared victory that he’s been lying. And Coats confirmed that on Tuesday.

“ISIS is intent on resurging and still commands thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria,” Coats said, adding that the terrorist group “very likely will continue to pursue external attacks from Iraq and Syria against regional and Western adversaries, including the United States,” and “has returned to its guerrilla warfare roots while continuing to plot attacks and direct its supporters worldwide.”

Trump is even wrong about North Korea denuclearizing.

“We currently assess that North Korea will seek to retain its WMD capabilities and is unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production capability because its leaders ultimately view nuclear weapons as critical to regime survival,” Coats said, adding that the “assessment is bolstered by observation of some activity that is inconsistent with full denuclearization.”

Haspel said North Korea “is committed to developing a long-range nuclear-armed missile that would pose a direct threat to the United States.”

So, either intelligence officials told the truth to the Senate, or they lied, which means the Senate should subpoena all of them to testify again and demand answers. They should be forced to publicly admit that they lied or contradict Trump again. Furthermore, perhaps Trump should also be subpoenaed to testify before Congress under oath, because lying about national security threats to the United States is a serious offense that puts Americans in danger. Either Trump is lying or his intelligence officials are lying and the Senate needs to sort it out fast.

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