At first blush, it appears that Donald Trump has selected a grownup, a mature counterintelligence official to become the acting director of national intelligence.
He is Joseph Maguire, head of the National Counterintelligence Center. He succeeds Dan Coats, who is leaving his DNI post on Aug. 15. Coats’s deputy DNI, Sue Gordon, also is leaving on the same day.
My major concern about Joseph Maguire, though, centers on something I have noted already in the wake of Coats’s decision to leave the post.
Will the next DNI, whether acting or permanent, be allowed to tell the commander in chief the truth about threats to this country? Will the president of the United States actually listen to what he says and will he act on recommendations that come from the DNI?
Trump has demonstrated an inability to do that during Coats’s tenure as the nation’s top spook. Indeed, it appears that resistance led to Coats’s decision to leave.
What’s next? If only the president would heed the opinions offered by the nation’s intelligence network. You know, such as: The Russians attacked our electoral system in 2016 and are doing so again … and we need to respond to it aggressively.
Donald Trump isn’t listening. He needs to pay attention.