.>> So, it's only a week until the inauguration, and instead of having better relations with his own intelligence agencies, the dispute between President Donald Trump and the US Intelligence Community is actually getting worse, or appears to be getting worse. I'm Warren Strobel, Diplomatic Correspondent for Reuters, in Washington.
Both current and former officials are worried that this dispute will in fact, could damage the long term security of the country, if you have a gap, a breach, between the president and his own intelligence specialists. Reuters did talk to one former senior CIA official who expressed some hope that things will get better once Trump has his own people in office.
But the problem is, other people say is that by heavily criticizing the US Intelligence community, accusing them of being wrong, dragging up the 2002 Intelligence estimate on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. He is in fact, damaging morale at the CIA and other agencies. And Vice President Joe Biden expressed concern that Trump's attacks which is really what they are on US intelligence agencies will increase the sense around the world that the US doesn't know what it's doing, that it's weak, that's it's not smart and up on things.
Any president relies to a great extent on the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the NSA and others to tell him what's going on around the world. It's a big tool that the president can wield. And we've seen over the history of the CIA and other agencies in the last half century that they are very good at protecting themselves.
And one person we talked to said it wouldn't be sort of out of the question for these agencies if they come under sustained a ttack in the months ahead to leak or otherwise let information out that protects them and their equities. There does seem to be this divide between President-elect Trump and his transition team and the people that he has appointed for senior positions.
Both Mike Pompeo, who's his nominee for CIA director, and James Mattis who's his nominee for the defense secretary. So they had great support for the CIA, they believe strongly in the organization and its people. And Pompeo in particular said he did not disagree with the conclusions of a US intelligence report that said Russian President Vladimir Putin hacked and otherwise interfered in the US election to help Trump.