A former National Security Agency analyst said the NSA doesn't trust President Donald Trump and has been hiding information from him since he took office.
"Our Intelligence Community is so worried by the unprecedented problems of the Trump administration -- not only do senior officials possess troubling ties to the Kremlin, there are nagging questions about basic competence regarding Team Trump -- that it is beginning to withhold intelligence from a White House which our spies do not trust," wrote ex-spy John R. Schindler in the Observer.
Schindler went on to argue the intelligence community has good reason to withhold information from Trump, citing revelations about what is happening in the White House.
"The president has repeatedly gone out of his way to antagonize our spies, mocking them and demeaning their work, and Trump’s personal national security guru can’t seem to keep his story straight on vital issues," Schindler wrote, referring to retired Army general Michael Flynn, who now heads Trump's National Security Council.
Flynn recently caused controversy when The Washington Post revealed that he had potentially lied about privately meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to discuss recent U.S.-imposed sanctions against Russia one month before Trump took office.
Such a meeting could potentially violate the Logan Act, a 1799 statute that prohibits a U.S. citizen from negotiating with a foreign entity about actions that could hurt American interests, according to the Free Dictionary. But that statute has never been prosecuted and the lack of legal history could make it difficult to build a case against Flynn, according to The Washington Post.
In his essay, Schindler admitted that it was "debatable" whether Flynn actually broke any laws by speaking to Kislyak and that ambassador phone calls are always intercepted by U.S. intelligence services.
Schindler says U.S. spies know what was discussed and this one reason why the intelligence community doesn't trust Trump or his Cabinet.
"This is a risky situation, particularly since President Trump is prone to creating crises foreign and domestic with his incautious tweets," Schindler continues. "In the event of a serious international crisis of the sort which eventually befalls almost every administration, the White House will need the best intelligence possible to prevent war, possibly even nuclear war. It may not get the information it needs in that hour of crisis, and for that it has nobody to blame but itself."