Even some Republicans balk as Trump targets US spy chiefs

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc with US President Donald Trump

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc with US President Donald Trump

"The post-World War II global system is coming under increasing strain amid continuing cyber and WMD proliferation threats, competition in space and regional conflicts", Mr Coats said, using the acronym for weapons of mass destruction. Trump ridiculed that assessment and the intelligence leaders themselves.

The bill's release came. a day after a top USA intelligence official testified to Congress that North Korea's complete denuclearization seems unlikely.

Trump continued: "Be careful of Iran".

Trump did not trade blows with his own intelligence and security people for the first time. Coats said he has provided oral briefings to Burr and Warner and a written report will be provided soon.

US President Donald Trump, left, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

As for Iran, Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel told the hearing that the country is still abiding by the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal despite Trump's decision to withdraw a year ago, claiming Tehran had broken it.

North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui and U.S. Special Representative Stephen Biegun met on the outskirts of Stockholm last week.

The intelligence chief said despite the North's promises to get rid of its nuclear weapons, the rogue nation is unlikely to dismantle its arsenal.

In his criticism, Trump has seemed to ignore the many points on which he and the intelligence agencies agree.

'We do not believe Iran is now undertaking activities we judge necessary to produce a nuclear device, ' he said. The Trump administration has reimposed USA sanctions.

Former CIA Director John Brennan said the president is revealing his "intellectual bankruptcy".

Coats declined to respond when Sen.

Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 29, 2019.

Others also questioned the President's logic in not listening to his own intelligence team.

Coats said intelligence information does not support the idea that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will eliminate his nuclear weapons and the capacity for building more - a notion that is the basis of the US negotiating strategy.

"A normal human being listening to the intel chiefs today on Iran and North Korea would conclude that Trump was dead wrong to withdraw from the JCPOA and dead right to negotiate with KJU even though zero nukes was magical thinking", said Aaron David Miller, director of the Middle East program at the Woodrow Wilson Center think tank in Washington. "No testing, getting remains, hostages returned". The statement contradicts President Donald Trump's claim of progress on denuclearization.

Trump spent yesterday morning in a defensive twitter storm about his foreign policy initiatives after Coats contradicted his claim of success after his summit with Kim Jong-Un.

It found Pyongyang leaders continue to "view nuclear arms as critical to regime survival".

The intelligence officials were due to continue testifying to the committee at a classified hearing later on Tuesday.

Trump's hostile tweets on Wednesday drew rebukes from Democrats.

Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said it was risky for the president to dismiss the findings of his own intelligence agencies.

However in the immediate future, Coats warned that protecting the 2020 presidential elections represent "a top priority for the intelligence community". "People risk their lives for the intelligence he just tosses aside".

"The intelligence community can only judge the information they can gather and draw an assessment". They don't play politics with national security - ever.

"In a regular administration, these distinctions aren't highlighted in public", Carafano said. Moscow may also employ other methods, including the spread of misinformation, hack and leak policies, and manipulation of data "in a more targeted fashion to influence USA policy". "It's his responsibility to make sure that happens".

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