Report: Trump To Cut Intelligence Funding

When President-elect Donald Trump takes office in late January, he will downsize the CIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

A Jan. 4 Wall Street Journal report says that the ODNI, the agency created in 2004 after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has grown bloated and useless, and that he intends to cut staffing at the CIA's Virginia headquarters and move more people out into field positions, according to The Hill.

"The view from the Trump team is the intelligence world [is] becoming completely politicized," a source familiar with Trump's transition told the Journal, according to The Hill. "They all need to be slimmed down. The focus will be on restructuring the agencies and how they interact."

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who Trump has appointed as national security adviser, and Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kentucky, Trump's choice for CIA director, are reportedly helping the president-elect finalize the agencies' changes.

The CIA declined to comment on the reported changes.

It is no secret that the departments have fallen out of Trump's favor. Trump has clashed with the CIA, ODNI, and the larger intelligence committee after it and President Barack Obama's administration officially concluded that the Russian government meddled in the U.S. presidential election.

The president-elect came under fire in December for reportedly only attending a handful of daily intelligence briefings since he won the election, notes Politico. In his place, Vice President-elect Mike Pence and members of his cabinet are hearing the briefings, though Trump said that the intelligence briefings are run by "very good people," and that he is open to receiving them more frequently if anything changes.

"I'm a smart person," Trump told "Fox News Sunday" at the time, according to Politico. "I don't have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years. Could be eight years -- but eight years. I don't need that. But I do say, 'If something should change, let us know.'"

Sources: The Hill, Politico / Photo Credit: Michael Vadon/Wikimedia Commons

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