Dec 4, 2019

Former intelligence official: Trump often didn't believe our findings

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Former Deputy Director of National Intelligence Sue Gordon said in a speech to the Women's Foreign Policy Group Tuesday that President Trump often didn't believe intelligence officials' findings during briefings, citing his most common responses, CNN reports.

"One, 'I don't think that's true.' ... one is 'I'm not sure I believe that,' and the other is the second order and third order effects. 'Why is that true? Why are we there? Why is this what you believe? Why do we do that?' Those sorts of things."
— Gordon quoting Trump to Women's Foreign Policy Group, per CNN

Why it matters: Trump has had a fraught relationship with intelligence agencies. This appears to be another example of his skepticism of the intelligence community.

  • In July, the president said he thought loyalist Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) would be an "incredible" replacement for outgoing National Intelligence Director Dan Coats because "we need somebody like that that's strong and can really rein it in," per CNN. "As you've all learned, the intelligence agencies have run amok," he said.

The big picture: Gordon is widely respected in the intelligence community and was supposed to assume automatically under federal statute the role of acting director of national intelligence upon Coats' departure.

  • But sources told Axios' Jonathan Swan that Trump never intended to pick her, and she resigned in August. That enabled Trump to appoint counterterrorism official Joseph Maguire to the acting role after Ratcliffe withdrew himself from consideration.

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Romney says he has seen no evidence Ukraine interfered in 2016

Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) broke with some of his Republican colleagues on Tuesday, telling reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday he has seen "no evidence" Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.

"I saw no evidence from our intelligence community, nor from the representatives today from the Department of State, that there is any evidence of any kind that suggests that Ukraine interfered in our elections. We have ample evidence that Russia interfered in our elections."
Go deeperArrowDec 3, 2019

What's next for impeachment

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos via Getty Pool

After seven public hearings with 12 different witnesses, the impeachment inquiry is moving on to the next stage: a public report and a handoff to the Judiciary Committee.

What's next: House Intelligence Committee staffers have been drafting a report that they plan to deliver to the Judiciary Committee in the coming weeks that lays out their case for impeachment, two sources familiar with their plans tell Axios.

Go deeperArrowNov 22, 2019

The highlights from all of the public impeachment hearings

The view before Marie Yovanovitch's impeachment hearing. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The House Intelligence Committee wrapped up on Thursday its planned schedule of public testimony in its impeachment inquiry, holding seven hearings with 12 witnesses over the past two weeks.

The big picture: The committee heard hours of testimony from witnesses who were both working on the ground in Ukraine and within the Trump administration at the time of the alleged White House pressure campaign against the Ukrainian government to secure an investigation into the Biden family's business dealings.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Nov 22, 2019