Thursday, January 5, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He provoked the resignation of James Woolsey, former CIA director, from his transition team.

Woolsey cited Trump's unwillingness to actually hear his advice on intelligence matters, and said that he was unwilling to continue being used as window-dressing. 

Trump's combative stance towards the United States' intelligence agencies is driven in part by their unanimous conclusion that the Russian government interfered on his behalf in the election that brought him to power, and in part because of his closeness with retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. Flynn, who will serve as Trump's national security adviser, was forced to resign as head of the DIA in 2014 and has been openly hostile to other agencies.

Woolsey's resignation came shortly before Trump lashed out again at the media, the Obama administration, and intelligence agencies over their conclusions about Russia's interference.

Why is this bad?

  • It's bad if presidents ignore genuine advice in favor of what they want to hear.
  • It's not a good sign if a president-elect's advisors resign in protest before he even takes office.
  • Attacking the messenger is not a sign that a president has a problem under control.