Daily download: Morale of the intelligence community has been affected by the recent skepticism coming from President-elect Trump.
The biggest news today is the U.S. Sente hearing on U.S. cybersecurity involving Intel Chiefs Admiral Michael S. Rogers (CSS) and James Clapper (NNI) .
WSJ has published a story that Trump is ” working with top advisers on a plan that would restructure and pare back the nation’s top spy agency, people familiar with the planning said.”
However, the incoming Press Secretary Sean Spicer insisted in the Press Briefing this morning that these reports are false. It has been suggested that the top priority for President-elect Trump is to assure the safety of the American people and that there is no truth to this idea of restructuring Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
In connection with the issue of cyber security, there is a story worthy of further examination that FBI has never contacted DNC regarding hacked servers. If true, it would mean that the DNC server was never examined by FBI in the investigation of hacking.
“The DNC had several meetings with representatives of the FBI’s Cyber Division and its Washington (DC) Field Office, the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, and U.S. Attorney’s Offices, and it responded to a variety of requests for cooperation, but the FBI never requested access to the DNC’s computer servers,” DNC deputy communications director Eric Walker
The credibility of US intelligence agencies
The Intel Chiefs James Clapper and Admiral Michael S. Rogers stated in the hearing this morning that they share the high confidence that Russia was behind the cyber hack. According to James Clapper, espionage is a passive collection and this was according to Clapper more active activity. However, when it comes to motivation and analysis, which seems to be Trump’s main point of contention, these are expected to be discussed in a briefing with President-elect Trump tomorrow. Intel Chiefs said this morning that they are feeling ready to be challenged by the President-elect Trump tomorrow.
As a clarification to President-elect’s tweets questioning the intelligence community, the incoming Press Secretary Sean Spicer said yesterday that there are two types of briefings the President-elect Trump is receiving.
There is a Presidential Daily Briefing which he receives three times a week. These briefings are composed of raw data that the Intel committee provides for him. He then receives every day the updates from his National Security team, and these security updates contain an analysis of the raw data and policy recommendations or actions he might want to assume once he is in the office.
With respect to the updates on Russia’s involvement in the cyber hack, last week President-Elect has scheduled the intelligence briefing for Friday in New York. Sean Spicer has confirmed that the CIA director John O. Brennan, FBI director James Comey and director of National Intelligence (DNI), James Clapper will be present at the briefing too.
What the President-elect Trump wants to distinguish are the raw data and the conclusions from that raw data. While the briefer presents the raw data and facts from the ground, the political staff provides the President-elect Trump and others with the analysis and recommendations of the raw intelligence.
President-Elect is more skeptical about the conclusions, not the raw data, so that is why he is looking forward to Friday’s meeting. What President-Elect Trump is interested to be clarified is how the raw intelligence justifies the conclusions presented to him, once he sees the final report tomorrow.
We will continue to provide details about the transition and will resume with our Daily Download tomorrow.