Trump Dislikes Spying on Other Nations Because Then Their Leaders Might Not Like Him: Report

Trump Dislikes Spying on Other Nations Because Then Their Leaders Might Not Like Him: Report

President Trump has told officials he does not like using foreign intelligence from human sources because the existence of such spies can hurt his friendships with the leaders of other nations.

That is the subject of a new report from CNN. Fresh off of its story that the CIA extracted a high-level Russian asset from Moscow because the agency feared President Trump would reveal his existence to Vladimir Putin, the news network dropped this newest revelation on Tuesday:

Trump has privately said that foreign spies can damage relations with their host countries and undermine his personal relationships with their leaders, the sources said. The President “believes we shouldn’t be doing that to each other,” one former Trump administration official told CNN.

Given Trump’s obvious need for approval from the likes of Putin or Kim Jong Un or Xi Jinping, it makes perfect sense that he would fear them getting mad at him because the U.S. also spies on those countries. But those countries spy right back. Trump’s desperate insecurity makes it impossible for him to put the interests of the United States on a higher plane than his personal relationships with other leaders.

Another issue for Trump is this:

In addition to his fear such foreign intelligence sources will damage his relationship with foreign leaders, Trump has expressed doubts about the credibility of the information they provide. Another former senior intelligence official told CNN that Trump “believes they’re people who are selling out their country.”

This makes sense for a man who prizes loyalty above all else.

But there is an even simpler possible explanation for Trump’s feelings. He infamously does not like to hear any information that contradicts what he thinks must be true, usually because he heard it on Fox News. So if a foreign spy tells the U.S. one thing and Vladimir Putin or Sean Hannity told Trump another, he not only disbelieves the spy, he becomes actively disgusted by the person’s effort in his mind to lie to him.

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Gary Legum

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.