Ex-Intelligence Officers Dispute Trump’s Claims That Obama Doesn’t Follow Their Advice

Wednesday night’s Commander in Chief forum has continued to stir conversation, with both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump arguing their political points Thursday. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, continued her assault on statements that Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, made on the Intrepid battleship during the forum. There were at least 9 controversial comments made by the GOP nominee that have been pounced on by Democrats.

It was in Trump in the second half of the forum that has political pundits, voters and former intelligence officers talking. Trump was asked about the intelligence briefings he received and if he learned anything from them that “shocked or alarm” him. Trump replied, “What I did learn is that our leadership, Barack Obama, did not follow what our experts and our truly — when they call it intelligence, it’s there for a reason — what our experts said to do.”

Trump went on, “And I was very, very surprised. In almost every instance. And I could tell you. I am pretty good with the body language. I could tell they were not happy. Our leaders did not follow what they were recommending.” Former intelligence agents and political leaders have jumped on Trump for this becauses if it happened it would be completely inappropriate and possibly illegal.

David Priess, a former CIA officer who delivered daily briefings to senior members of the George W. Bush administration, said of Trump’s assertion, “This is unprecedented. We’ve had other presidential candidates mention that they got a briefing and talk in platitudes about it. We’ve never had somebody talk about what happened in a session.”

Trump’s statement about reading body language is also being called into question. Paul Pillar, a former high-ranking CIA analyst stated that “one of the last things they would do is express either verbally or through body-language preferences” about candidates or policy. The role of those who give the briefing is to be impartial; to give the information and allow the elected official to make decisions based on the facts, not on opinions.

The Washington Post reports that former deputy CIA director, Michael Morell, who has endorsed Clinton, said that the comments that Trump made Wednesday night “show that he’s got zero understanding of how intelligence works.” Meanwhile, Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton attacked Trump’s speaking about the intelligence briefings at all. She stated that Trump was “totally inappropriate and undisciplined.”

The Clinton campaign was quick to point out that once again Trump has proved he lacks the temperament to be president. The Trump campaign responded to Clinton’s attacks saying that, “These are the desperate attacks of a falling campaign sinking in the polls and characteristics of someone woefully unfit for the presidency of the United States.”

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