U.S. intelligence officials have been withholding certain sensitive information from President Donald Trump, according to a new report.
Both Current and former officials told the Wall Street Journal that some data and information has been held back from the new President out of fear that disclosing it would compromise it or subject it to being leaked.
Some of the information that was presented to the President omitted sources and methods that the intelligence agencies use for collection of information. According to The Journal, the methods “could include, for instance, the means that an agency uses to spy on a foreign government.”
The reluctance of intelligence officials to provide certain information to the president is another sign of the deep mistrust that has been created between the intelligence community and Donald Trump, particularly in light of contacts between his circle and the Russian government, as well as the aggression he has shown toward the intelligence community, as recently as on Wednesday, when Trump accused agencies of leaking information to undermine him.
A White House official denied knowledge of any information being withheld from the President. “There is nothing that leads us to believe that this is an accurate account of what is actually happening.”
In the past, intelligence officials have omitted information from presidents or members of Congress in order to protect sources, and when all the president needs to know is the information revealed. However, in the past, the decision has not been motivated by a concern about a president’s trustworthiness or lack of discretion, according to the sources speaking to The Journal.
The sources did make clear that none of the information withheld has been crucial information about security threats or potential plotting of attacks.
On Wednesday, Trump restarted his attacks against U.S. intelligence at a highly inopportune time — in a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “From intelligence, papers are being leaked, things are being leaked. It’s criminal action. It’s a criminal act, and it’s been going on for along time before me, but now it’s really going on,” Trump said.