President Donald Trump addressed the CIA on Saturday, amid increasing tension between the new administration and the US intelligence community.
“I am so behind you,” Trump told the assembled CIA employees. “You’re going to get so much backing.”
“You’re going to get so much backing, you’re going to say, please don’t give us so much backing. Mr. President, please don’t give us so much backing,” Trump said. “I am with you 1,000%”
Trump raged against the intelligence community prior to taking office on Friday over an unverified dossier documenting Russia’s alleged attempts to compromise Trump, as well as more general questions of Russia’s involvement in hacking the 2016 election.
However, on Saturday, one day after taking office, Trump assured the assembled CIA employees that “there is nobody that feels stronger about the intelligence community and the CIA than Donald Trump.”
Trump gave his remarks in front of a wall honouring CIA officers who have been killed in the line of duty.
Trump also continued to hammer themes from his campaign, specifically calling out what he characterised as the “dishonest media,” and discussed how the crowd for his inauguration speech on Friday “stretched all the way to the National Monument.”
“I have a running war with the media,” Trump said.
Trump’s remarks — delivered without a teleprompter — also touched on his administration’s priorities for “defeating ISIS,” and “eradicating Islamic terrorism” from the world.
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