- Britain’s security agencies gave assessments of Trump’s campaign pledges to MPs.
- New document shows they thought US-UK intelligence co-operation could be harmed if Trump acted on his 2016 campaign pledges.
- But they reassured MPs that this was pretty unlikely to happen.
- So far they seem to have been right to doubt the president.
Britain’s security agencies all separately said that they don’t expect Donald Trump to fulfil pledges he made during his presidential campaign.
MI5, MI6, and GCHQ – who deal with intelligence, foreign intelligence, and surveillance, respectively – have all gone on the record to say they doubt that the US president will deliver on promises he made in 2016.
The pledges they have publicly doubted include foreign policy decisions related to Russia and Iran, and his intention on using torture to extract intelligence.
The positions were revealed in statements to the UK parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, which published an annual report on Wednesday.
The MPs on the committee said: “Views that the president has expressed – particularly prior to his election – have the potential, if they were to become official policy, to pose difficulties for the UK-USA intelligence relationship.
“These include, inter alia, the potential for a change in the US relationship with Russia and Iran, and a change in policy on the use of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”
However, the message from the security agencies was essentially not to worry, because they do not think Trump will deliver.
Here is GCHQ:
(*** represents a redacted portion)
The agencies gave their assessment while Trump was president-elect, but the statements remained secret until late December. So far their predictions appear to have held.
Trump has demurred from withdrawing unilaterally from the Iran deal, leaving it to a Congressional battle instead.
Suggestions that the Trump White House may take a soft stance towards Russia have also yet to come through, and the sanctions regime continues amid the politically contentious investigation into potential Russian collusion during Trump’s presidential campaign.
Pledges by Trump to bring back waterboarding and “a hell of a lot worse” during the campaign have also not come to fruition.
After taking office he said publicly that “torture works,” but said he would let CIA director Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis decide whether to reinstate it. Thus far they have chosen not to.
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