Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 22nd 2017 Contents A30 world
guardian.co.tt Sunday, January 22, 2017
Women march around the globe
Trump to visit CIA after feud about Russia hacking
On the first full day as US pres-
ident, Donald Trump said he
would head to CIA headquarters
yesterday signalling an effort to
mend fences after he slammed
spy agencies for their investiga-
tion into Russian hacking during
the presidential election.
Trump, who engaged in an un-
precedented feud with the CIA and
other U.S. intelligence agencies be-
fore his inauguration, is expected to
thank agencies, but some analysts
said it will take more than a quick
visit to patch up relations with a
community he has compared to
using tactics reminiscent of Nazi
Trump harshly criticized intelli-
gence officials after they conclud-
ed that Russian President Vladimir
Putin directed hackers to breach
Democratic emails to try to boost
Trump's presidential election cam-
Then, after leaks about an un-
substantiated dossier compiled by
a private security firm suggesting
Moscow had compromising infor-
mation about him, Trump blamed
intelligence agencies for using Na-
That drew an unusual public re-
buke from outgoing CIA Director
John Brennan and raised fears about
the impact that sagging morale at
the agencies could have on U.S.
White House spokesman Sean
Spicer suggested that Trump would
bring an olive branch when he speaks
with more than 300 people at the
event at the Langley, Virginia-based
Central Intelligence Agency.
"Excited to thank the men and
women of the intelligence com-
munity," White House spokesman
Spicer said on Twitter.
The visit is a "good gesture," said
Bruce Riedel, a former senior CIA
and White House official, now at
the Brookings Institution think-
tank. Riedel said the visit may help
Trump learn more about the agen-
cy's counter-terrorism work.
WILL TAKE TIME TO HEAL
But others said it may take time
to forgive and forget.
"A single visit with some nice
words will not outweigh prior at-
tacks and insults," said Paul Pillar, a
former top U.S. intelligence analyst
on the Middle East.
"If today is the last they see of the
president for weeks or months, the
work force will not be favourably im-
pressed," he said.
Within the 17-agency intelligence
community, there are widely shared
concerns about the qualifications
and judgement of Trump, a busi-
nessman and television star who has
never held public office.
Some veteran analysts who have
spent their careers studying foreign
dictators and autocrats have said
they are troubled by Trump's style,
saying his negativity, egotism, and
appeals to nationalism are hallmarks
of autocratic regimes.
"Many people are asking whether
we can serve under a president and
national security adviser who've
expressed such contempt for the
intelligence community, and one
photo opportunity drive-by on a
Saturday is not going to change
that," said a veteran officer now
working at CIA headquarters after
multiple assignments overseas, who
spoke on condition of anonymity.
"It will be interesting to see how
many people leave their houses and
jump in their cars to drive to head-
quarters on their day off to make
the crowd look bigger for someone
who's compared them to Nazis," said
a second serving intelligence officer.
Trump, who has said he wants to
try to work with Moscow to fight
Islamic State militants and reduce
stockpiles of nuclear weapons, has
since accepted the conclusions of
the election hacking investigation.
Trump had originally hoped to
swear in his new CIA chief during
the visit to the spy agency.
But the Senate has not yet con-
firmed his pick, Kansas Republican
Representative Mike Pompeo, for
the job. That vote is expected on
The relationship between Wash-
ington and Moscow frayed after Rus-
sia annexed Crimea from Ukraine,
prompting new U.S. economic
sanctions. Former U.S. President
Barack Obama also blamed Putin for
prolonging Syria's bloody civil war.
Putin is ready to meet Trump but a
meeting would take months to pre-
pare, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry
Peskov was quoted as saying by
TASS news agency.
"This will not be in coming weeks,
let's hope for the best - that the
meeting will happen in the coming
months," Peskov told BBC, accord-
ing to TASS. -REUTERS
People hold signs to show solidarity with the Women's March in Washington and many other
marches in several countries, in Madrid, Spain January 21, 2017. PHOTOS: REUTERS
Women wait for the start of the #IWillGoOut rally, organized to show solidarity with the
Women's March in Washington, along a street in New Delhi, India January 21, 2017.
Participants of a rally regarding women's rights hold placards as they march in Wellington,
New Zealand, January 21, 2017 the day after Donald Trump's inauguration as President of the
Women hold signs to show solidarity with the Women's March in Washington and many
other marches in several countries, in Zagreb, Croatia, January 21, 2017.
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