Why would Donald Trump consider the president of a small South Dakota engineering school as Director of National Intelligence? Would it be her experience ten years ago on the House Intelligence Committee? His sympathy for her dalliance with conflict of interest in illegally using federal money for lobbying?
Or might Donald Trump want someone like Heather Wilson to direct national intelligence because he wants a weak director of national intelligence?
President-elect Donald Trump is looking at possible ways to limit the power of the director of National Intelligence, according to sources close to the transition.
The thinking within the Trump transition team is that the DNI often gets in the way of the 16 intelligence agencies it represents, which includes the CIA, the sources told CNN.
…One source said that Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn — Trump’s pick for national security adviser — has pushed the idea of reigning in the DNI. Flynn was pushed out as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014, which falls under the DNI’s leadership. Flynn clashed with other intelligence officials, including his bosses Mike Vickers, the Pentagon’s undersecretary for intelligence, and DNI James Clapper [Evan Perez and Daniella Diaz, “Trump Team Looking at Ways to Limit the Power of DNI, Sources Say,” CNN, 2017.01.05].
CBS reports Trump may just leave the DNI unfilled… because Donald Trump epitomizes the idea that Presidents don’t need intelligence. Or maybe Trump will skip the middle man and appoint his preferred source of information, fellow accused sex offender Julian Assange.
Related: At the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing (streaming right now on C-SPAN) on Russian hacking and cybersecurity, Chairman John McCain asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and NSA and Cyber Command director Admiral Mike Rogers if they “think there’s any credibility we should attach to” Julian Assange. DNI Clapper and Admiral Rogers both said no.