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Former Washington Journalist
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Donald Trump’s emergent scandal in which Russian operatives apparently paid Afghan insurgents bounties to kill US troops in Afghanistan while Trump allegedly did nothing to stop it is due to his general lack of interest in intelligence, according to a White House national security adviser who served Trump.
It’s been reported this week that the Russians have been paying members of the Taliban to kill US troops, and that White House staff have known since last year while Trump not only has not moved to stop the Russians, he’s pushed to include Russia in the G-7 group of nations.
“I think the bigger problem is the president’s lack of interest in intelligence. And I talk about that in the book a little bit,” said John Bolton, who served as Trump’s national security adviser from April 2018 through September 2019 and who recently published his book, The Room Where It Happened. “Look, every president consumes intelligence in a different way. Ronald Reagan did one way, George H.W. Bush another. The purpose of the briefing process is to meet the particular needs of the president and present it to him in the way that best suits his desires.
“The problem with Donald Trump is not that he is not receptive to one means or another. He’s just not receptive to new facts, the intelligence briefings don’t communicate as much information as they should,” Bolton added. “We tried to think of ways to change it, I think it was probably a doomed effort. But it’s not that the intelligence community is failing, it’s that the president doesn’t value this information as highly as his predecessors have, and as highly as he should.”
Trump has denigrated the US intelligence community since his election, and the intelligence community found that Trump won as the result of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
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