US intelligence officials have withheld sensitive intelligence from President Donald Trump because they are concerned it could be leaked or compromised, according to current and former officials familiar with the matter, APA reported citing The Wall Street Journal.
The officials’ decision to keep information from Mr. Trump underscores the deep mistrust that has developed between the intelligence community and the president over his team’s contacts with the Russian government, as well as the enmity he has shown toward US spy agencies.
In some of these cases of withheld information, officials have decided not to show Mr Trump the sources and methods that the intelligence agencies use to collect information, the current and former officials said. Those sources and methods could include, for instance, the means that an agency uses to spy on a foreign government.
Intelligence officials have in the past not told a president or members of Congress about the ins and outs of how they ply their trade. At times, they have decided that secrecy is essential for protecting a source, and that all a president needs to know is what that source revealed and what the intelligence community thinks is important about it.
But in these previous cases in which information was withheld, the decision wasn’t motivated by a concern about a president’s trustworthiness or discretion, the current and former officials said.
“This is not about who won the election. This is about concerns about institutional integrity,” said Mark Lowenthal, a former senior intelligence official.
“It’s probably unprecedented to have this difficult a relationship between a president and the intelligence agencies,” Mr Lowenthal said. “I can’t recall ever seeing this level of friction. And it’s just not good for the country.”