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Analysis: Trump's CIA director keeps doing controversial-and suspicious pro-Trump-things

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CIA Director Mike Pompeo reportedly met with the purveyor of a disputed theory about the internal Democratic National Committee emails that were released last year — a theory that runs counter to the intelligence community's own long-standing conclusions about the matter — according to a report in the Intercept.

It's not the first example of Pompeo doing something that has been put under the microscope. But there is a common thread running through just about every example: Pompeo doing and saying questionable things involving Russia — and those questionable things tend to lean in a pro-Trump direction.

The most recent example is Pompeo's meeting with William Binney, a former intelligence official who argues that the DNC hack wasn't a hack at all, but rather a leak from within.

Binney, of course, isn't the only one who has cast doubt on the intelligence community's conclusions; so too has Trump, who has at times suggested the very idea that Russia interfered in the 2016 election was "fake news."

And the kicker in the Intercept's story is that Trump, according to Binney and another source, just so happens to be the one who suggested the meeting:

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Country over party.


Two of the nation's former top intelligence officials expressed surprise and dismay Wednesday that President Donald Trump prevailed upon CIA Director Mike Pompeo to meet with a former National Security Agency employee turned whistleblower who denies Russia interfered in the US election.

That position contradicts the conclusion of the intelligence community in both the Obama and Trump administrations and propagates the theory that the leak of Democratic Party emails in the 2016 election wasn't because of a cyberattack by Russian hackers but rather was an inside job.
Both retired Gen. Michael Hayden, the former director of the CIA and National Security Agency under President George W. Bush, and retired Gen. James Clapper, the former director of National Intelligence under President Barack Obama, wondered in interviews with CNN why Trump had asked Pompeo to meet with William Binney, who circulated the conspiracy theory, instead of his Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats.
"Why did the President turn to the CIA director rather than the DNI?" Hayden asked. "Structurally, this should have been a DNI question since the Binney article challenged an overall community assessment."
Clapper said that "this episode, I think, adds to the image (perhaps unjustifiably) that Pompeo is a political activist, as a 'go-to' guy for Trump." Clapper added that this is "not a good place for a director of the CIA to be."

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