President Trump enthusiastically received by CIA rank and file
Donald Trump made CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia his first official visit as president.
Introduced by Vice President Mike Pence, Trump was enthusiastically received with cheers and wild applause, a rebuke by the rank and file to outgoing CIA director John Brennan who has been harshly critical of the new president. A political appointee of Barack Obama, Brennan’s opinions certainly don’t represent the men and women of the CIA.
Speaking to the assembled CIA officers in front of the agencies memorial wall, he told them, “there is nobody that feels stronger about the intelligence community and the CIA, than Donald Trump”, again earning an ovation. Trump promised that they would receive the “backing” that prior administrations failed to provide.
Trump speculated that CIA employees strongly supported his candidacy, saying “Probably almost everybody in this room voted for me, but I will not ask you to raise your hands if you did.” Trump’s hunch proved correct, judging by the exuberant response.
Also receiving a strong approval were Trump’s mentions of Defense Secretary James Mattis, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, and incoming CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
Trump equated the work of the CIA as “in certain ways” the “most important” among the agencies providing national security. “If you give them the right direction”, “we lose fewer lives.”
Explaining why he made the CIA his first official visit, Trump said it was due to “media lies” that he had “a feud with the intelligence community.”
As they cheered, the men and women of the CIA made it abundantly clear to their president that he had their support, and that they themselves did not believe this false media narrative.