August 01, 2019

Why the intelligence community sees potential harm in ‘loyalty’

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

Journalist: Howard LaFranchi

When President Donald Trump told reporters Tuesday that he wants to replace departing Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats with someone who can “rein in” an intelligence community that has “really run amok,” it struck many intelligence professionals as the wrong criterion for choosing the country’s next top spy.

What they heard in those words is a president favoring loyalty and a like political perspective over professionalism. Mr. Trump's comments followed closely his announcement that he intends to replace Mr. Coats with John Ratcliffe, a Texas Republican member of Congress short on intelligence experience but sharply critical of the intelligence community’s conclusions on Russia’s involvement in the 2016 elections.

“The intelligence community is about the most apolitical group of professionals you can imagine, but if we start winnowing out the people who provide the unvarnished view of what is happening out there in favor of others who would provide views that are closer to what the president wants to hear, it’s something everyone should be worried about,” says Andrea Kendall-Taylor, a former deputy national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia in the National Intelligence Council.

Read the full article and more in The Christian Science Monitor.


  • Andrea Kendall-Taylor

    Senior Fellow and Director, Transatlantic Security Program

    Andrea Kendall-Taylor is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Transatlantic Security Program at CNAS. She works on national security challenges facing the United States and Eur...