Numerous Central Intelligence Agency officials have expressed concern over director Mike Pompeo’s close ties to President Donald Trump, the Washington Post reports.
Appointed not long after Trump’s inauguration, Pompeo has spent more than six months overseeing Counterintelligence Mission Center, a role that puts him close to the investigation into Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.
The CMC has followed the investigation closer than any other agency, and first tipped off the FBI about potential collusion between Russian agents and Trump’s campaign, according to The Post.
But now, CIA officials have started to worry that Pompeo — who once said that Russian interference was “no news” and part of a usual pattern — could be tested in the role by his loyalty to Trump. The unit reports any work, which could include leaks on election intereference, to Pompeo, who has promoted White House agendas and spoke out in support of Trump.
“People have to watch him,” a CIA official who wished to remain anonymous told the Post. “It’s almost as if he can’t resist the impulse to be political.”
A second official added that many at the agency were concerned that “if you were passing on something too dicey [to Pompeo] he would go to the White House with it.”
Pompeo has a closer relationship with the President than any of the other top intelligence officials, according to The Post, and his publicly expressed views mirror many of the White House’s official stances on issues such as North Korea, Russia’s role in Syria, and the White House’s focus on preventing leaks.
“It is always a balancing act between a director’s access to the president and the need to protect CIA’s sensitive equities,” said John Sipher, a former senior CIA official told The Post. “Pompeo clearly has a more difficult challenge in maintaining that balance than his predecessors given the obvious concerns with this president’s unique personality, obsession with charges against him, lack of knowledge and tendency to take impulsive action.”
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