Two former CIA directors are supporting the Trump administration on two different aspects of the recent reporting over the Russia-Trump saga. One of those was the CIA chief under Bill Clinton, and the other one served during the Obama years and was an outspoken supporter of Hillary Clinton during her presidential run. These are not Trump-supporting sycophants. Rather, they are dyed-in-the-wool liberals who are loyal to their country and refuse to put politics first.
Former two-time CIA Chief Mike Morell recently explained that he has no “confidence” in the recent stories about Jared Kushner.
In an interview with The Cipher Brief, Morell, a supporter of Hillary Clinton, also warned against “over-connecting” the dots based on the reports.
“That is not a sourcing chain in which I would put a great deal of confidence,” Morell said in the interview of reports by The Washington Post and The New York Times.
“I spent a career watching the media get a significant portion of intelligence-related stories wrong. So, the bottom line: we should all be very careful in saying what is a fact on which to base analysis here. The real facts may be different.”
Morell further argued that there was nothing nefarious in the report about Kushner to begin with. Kushner’s meeting with the Russians was also attended by incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
Morell also quibbled with the use of the term “back channel” to describe the communications line allegedly sought by Kushner.
“That is not a back channel,” he argued. “That is a ‘front channel’ — the incoming national security advisor talking with the Russian government.”
“Why does it matter what we call it? Because somehow, ‘back channel’ has a more nefarious connotation than ‘front channel.’”
Morell conceded that President Trump had done a “poor job” so far but emphasized that the media had been mistreating him in their coverage, which has been biased.
Morell wasn’t the only former CIA chief who was criticizing the media’s coverage of Trump, either. During an interview on CNN, former Clinton-era CIA chief James Woolsey argued that Trump wasn’t the problem that the media should be focusing on, that instead they should be hammering the “traitors” who have been leaking classified information.
“Well, there are a lot of things that I think have been disclosed too much, and I think that is the real scandal here — that so much has been disclosed,” Woolsey said Tuesday night on CNN. “It makes it hard for the secrecy that’s essential to the operation of the U.S. government in these areas to continue, and I think the people who have broken these tacit and formal agreements and taken classified information and turned it loose are basically traitors to the country.”
Woolsey also criticized the media for their attacks on Kushner because if what was being reported was true, Kushner did nothing wrong.
“I don’t see anything untoward about having backchannel communications as long as you’re doing it accurately and within the confines, essentially, of what your superiors have asked of you,” he said. “People have backchannel communications all the time.”
To repeat, Woolsey is no Trump supporter. He is a Democrat and has supported liberal policies for years. But he’s also a patriot who understands that the real crime happening in Washington, D.C. today is the leaks. Thus far there has been no evidence that the Trump team did anything wrong, and all the leaks have done is embarrass the White House. They haven’t exposed government crimes (the way Snowden and Manning’s leaks did).
Cross-posted at Constitution.com