If a new report is to be believed, the Trump Administration is taking on the “Deep State” directly by setting up a plan to completely sideline the massive national intelligence community.
The report indicates that the President is considering proposals from retired CIA officer and Blackwater founder Erik Prince to give CIA Director Mike Pompeo a “global, private spy network” that would “circumvent official U.S. intelligence agencies.”
The Intercept reports that the plans are a means of countering the “deep state” enemies in the intelligence community who are seeking to undermine Trump and his presidency.
Having a private spy network at his personal disposal would permit the President to investigate the investigators and provide counter-intelligence on the intelligence gatherers.
One intelligence official with “first-hand” knowledge of the proposal told The Intercept that Pompeo doesn’t trust the CIA, so he wants to create an intelligence apparatus that answers directly to him and Trump.
“It is a direct-action arm, totally off the books,” this person said, meaning the intelligence collected would not be shared with the rest of the CIA or the larger intelligence community. “The whole point is this is supposed to report to the president and Pompeo directly.”
The man recruited to “sell” the idea to the Administration was Lt. Col. Oliver North, who was the “ideological leader” of the plan.
Some involved with the proposals have already met with some deep-pocket Trump donors, asking them to finance these operations.
The proposals would utilize an army of spies with no official cover in several countries deemed “denied areas” for current American intelligence personnel, including North Korea and Iran. The White House has also considered creating a new global rendition unit meant to capture terrorist suspects around the world, as well as a propaganda campaign in the Middle East and Europe to combat Islamic extremism and Iran.
When asked about the idea, a spokesman for the National Security Council said that the “White House does not and would not support such a proposal.”
But a current U.S. intelligence official appeared to contradict that assertion, stating that the various proposals were first pitched at the White House before being delivered to the CIA. The Intercept reached out to several senior officials that sources said had been briefed on the plans by Prince, including Vice President Mike Pence. His spokesperson wrote there was “no record of [Prince] ever having met with or briefed the VP.” Oliver North did not respond to a request for comment.
Pompeo is on board for the idea, two former senior intelligence officials told The Intercept. But when asked for comment, a CIA spokesperson said, “You have been provided wildly inaccurate information by people peddling an agenda.”
As with many arrangements in the world of CIA contracting and clandestine operations, details of who is in charge of various proposals are murky by design and change depending on which players are speaking. An Amyntor official said Prince was not “formally linked to any contract proposal by Amyntor.” In an email, Prince rejected the suggestion that he was involved with the proposals. When asked if he has knowledge of this project, Prince replied: “I was/am not part of any of those alleged efforts.”
What do you think? Is there any truth to it? Is it a bad idea? What could possibly go wrong with a president having his own secret network of spies? Sound off below!