The act of gathering intelligence for the United States is both incredibly important and also incredibly dangerous. Donald Trump’s predecessors have understood this and treated intelligence with respect and care.
Robert Cardillo, the former head of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, has served under 6 different presidents. It was Trump, however, who inspired him to write a scathing op-ed in the Denver Post.
Cardillo spoke to Wolf Blitzer about his experience with Trump on Friday afternoon. He told the CNN host, “Since I have been eligible to vote, I have never registered with a political party. I remain an independent with a history of voting for candidates I believe in — I focused on their policy and not their party. Before this election, I have never spoken out for or against a candidate for any office. But I can be silent no longer.”
The former Trump official continued:
“I have briefed him up close — and I have seen and felt the effect of his faults on our nation’s security. Out of respect for the confidential nature of Oval Office conversations, I will not provide details. Suffice to say that the person you see presiding over COVID-19 press conferences is the same one in the privacy of his office. He has little patience for facts or data that do not comport with his personal world view. Thus, the conversations are erratic and less than fully thoughtful.”
Watch a clip of the conversation below, courtesy of CNN:
"He just discards and discounts data, facts and assessment in ways that I do think puts us at risk." – Robert Cardillo, former director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, on President Trump's handling of intelligence https://t.co/03nTBiMqRX pic.twitter.com/OynFflkcVT
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) September 25, 2020