Trump Rips Own Intelligence Chiefs, They 'Should Go Back To School,' Calls Them 'Passive And Naive' On Iran

On a day when Donald Trump has only one event on his schedule - his daily intelligence briefing - Donald Trump started the morning by taking to his Twitter account and attacking the chiefs of United States intelligence agencies for disagreeing with him over the threat posed by Iran, the Hill reported.

After a lineup of the most senior officials in the U.S. intelligence community — including Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Central Intelligence Agency Director Gina Haspel, and Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray — testified about "worldwide threats" to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, Trump made clear that he was not pleased with their view that Iran is not taking steps to produce a nuclear weapon, as reported by CNN. Trump flatly stated his view that the intelligence community assessments of Iran are "wrong."

"The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong! When I became President Iran was making trouble all over the Middle East, and beyond," Trump wrote on his Twitter account. "Since ending the terrible Iran Nuclear Deal, they are MUCH different, but a source of potential danger and conflict."

Intelligence chiefs testify on Tuesday.
Getty Images | Win McNamee
FBI Director Christopher Wray (l), CIA Director Gina Haspel (c), and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats (r) on Tuesday.

Trump ordered economic sanctions on Iran to be re-imposed last November, as the Washington Post reported, after earlier directing the United States to withdraw from the multi-lateral 2015 nuclear deal designed to prevent the Persian Gulf nation from developing a nuclear weapon.

The agency chiefs told the Senate committee that intelligence data and assessments have not detected any sign that Iran was violating the nuclear deal, despite the U.S. pullout, according to the Post. The United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, France, and China remain in the deal with Iran.

Trump did not offer any explanation as to how he supposedly knows information about Iran that the intelligence community does not, but in a later Twitter message, he chided the intelligence chiefs, saying they "should go back to school!"

The intelligence chiefs also testified that Russia is preparing a new cyberwar offensive to interfere in the 2020 presidential election, seeing the election as "an opportunity to advance their interests," Coats testified, according to National Public Radio. Trump did not respond publicly to the warnings of further Russian interference as of Wednesday morning. The intelligence agencies earlier concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election with the aim of helping Trump win.