Trump bashes ‘passive and naive’ intel officials as he touts progress on North Korea and ISIS

January 30, 2019

President Trump slammed his own intelligence officials Wednesday morning, a day after they countered some of his claims in front of Congress.

“The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong!” he tweeted. “Be careful of Iran. Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!”

On Tuesday, CIA Director Gina Haspel, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that Iran appears to be in line with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal made during the Obama administration.

However, they warned that Tehran has threatened to restart its nuclear program if the U.S. keeps up the economic pressure.

Mr. Trump, however, said Iran is a “source of potential danger and conflict” but are only contained because of the strain on its economy.

While the president argues that officials should be more concerned with Iran, their assessment said that he is underestimating the situation with North Korea and the Islamic State terror group, also known as ISIS.

“North Korea relationship is best it has ever been with U.S. No testing, getting remains, hostages returned. Decent chance of Denuclearization,” Mr. Trump tweeted.

The intelligence community’s “worldwide threat assessment” determined that it was “unlikely” that North Korea would dismantle all of its nuclear weapons program.

Mr. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are set to meet for the second time in February.

“I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un shortly,” the president tweeted. “Progress being made - big difference!”

Mr. Trump also boasted about the Islamic State terror group, also known as ISIS, being nearly wiped out, compared to the previous administration.

“Since then tremendous progress made, especially over last 5 weeks. Caliphate will soon be destroyed, unthinkable two years ago,” he wrote.

However, his intelligence officials determined that ISIS still has the capability and will most likely continue to launch attacks from Iraq and Syria against the U.S. and its allies in the region. They stressed that the terrorist group could resurge if the U.S. presence is reduced.

“ISIS still commands thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria, and it maintains eight branches, more than a dozen networks and thousands of dispersed supporters around the world, despite significant leadership and territorial losses,” their assessment noted.

The president also mentioned the negotiations between U.S. officials and the Taliban to potentially end the war in Afghanistan.

“Fighting continues but the people of Afghanistan want peace in this never ending war. We will soon see if talks will be successful?” Mr. Trump wrote.

Guy Taylor contributed to this report.

Update hourly