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Agents in the nation’s intelligence communities are deciding not to risk their careers going after operatives from Russia or elsewhere because of the current actions of President Donald Trump’s White House and its supporters, according to former CIA operative Robert Baer.
“They’re demoralized, the federal government, especially the FBI,” Baer, now a CNN intelligence and security analyst, told network correspondent Brianna Keilar. “These hard-right conspiracy theorists are claiming there is a deep state, that there is an active program to undermine this administration, which is just not true.”
Baer said he’s “never seen it so bad” as the current state of the nation’s intelligence community under Trump, and that means Americans are “less safe.”
“Let’s take Syria, pulling out of Syria,” said Baer. “We’re less safe. This president is endangering lives by closing off the intelligence community because it is fact-based. He doesn’t like the facts and it’s hurting us.”
Baer’s comments came in response to an interview from Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., who told NBC’s “Meet the Press” anchor Chuck Todd that he does not trust the FBI, the CIA, and that he, like most Americans just wants the truth.
“The FBI deals in facts, as does the CIA, and you’ve got a lot of FBI agents asking now, the question, should I risk my retirement to go after one of these subjects whether it could be Russia, Iran or anything else?” Baer said. “They’re truly worried about ending up like l because they’re truly worried about ending up like the former (Deputy) FBI Director (Andrew) McCabe, under some sort of indictment or threat.”
That is not only demoralizing but it’s causing “major damage” to the U.S. intelligence community, said Baer.
“Let’s say there is a Russian case that comes up,” he said. “If you’re an FBI agent, should you take it on or just turn the guy away? I can’t give you specifics, but in a lot of cases they’re turning them away.”
He added that he knows “for a fact” that FBI and CIA agents are self-editing cases they take because of Trump.
“They don’t want to touch it,” he said. “They’re very worried. They’re saying, ‘look, this is the commander in chief. We take orders from the commander-in-chief, the chief law enforcement officer. If he doesn’t care about the facts involving Russia or North Korea or Iran or the rest of it, it’s not our business to change it.'”
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Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠