Schumer to intel chiefs: Please teach Trump national security 101


Chuck Schumer says it's long past time for the intelligence community to 'stage an intervention' with Trump.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is urging U.S. intelligence leaders to stand up against Trump's vicious and unhinged attacks against the American intelligence community.

Schumer wrote a letter on Wednesday to Dan Coats, director of national intelligence, expressing alarm after Trump attacked Coats and CIA Director Gina Haspel for their testimony earlier this week before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Schumer thanked Coats for giving Congress clear-eyed information about the threats facing America. But Schumer also said that Coats "cannot allow the President’s ill-advised and unwarranted comments today to stand," and called on Coats, Haspel, and FBI Director Christopher Wray to "insist on an immediate meeting with the President to educate him about the facts" of the intelligence community's assessments.

When answering questions under oath, both Coats and Haspel repeatedly contradicted statements Trump has made on issues ranging from North Korea to Iran to ISIS. They testified to many basic facts that American intelligence agencies know, but that Trump refuses to accept — that North Korea is committed to creating long-range missiles that threaten the United States; that Iran is abiding by the multi-party nuclear agreement; and that ISIS is far from defeated.

After Coats' and Haspel's testimony, Trump unleashed a series of attacks not only on them, but on America's entire intelligence community. He called Coats and Haspel "extremely passive and naive" and suggested they "should go back to school!" He also flatly declared, "They are wrong!"

The implication of Schumer's letter is that Trump is the one who needs to go back to school.

Schumer called Trump's outburst "extraordinarily inappropriate" and warned Trump's language "will undermine public confidence in the U.S. government’s efforts to protect our national security and preserve U.S. power and influence abroad."

Schumer also posted the letter in a tweet, where he added that it's "past time for U.S. Intelligence Community leaders to stage an intervention" with Trump to set him straight.

Trump has the world's greatest intelligence agency at his beck and call — yet he seems to prefer getting his information about national security from cable news outlets such as Fox News.

Schumer urged intelligence leaders to find a way to make the basic facts of intelligence assessments clear to Trump so that the administration can speak with a unified voice about national security threats.

Trump hand-picked each of the people Schumer mentions in the letter — yet they are the very people Trump is attacking for merely doing their jobs and telling the truth.

Trump should spend less time tweeting, and more time listening to his own advisers.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.