The National Security Agency has been withholding information from the White House, fearing that President Donald Trump and his staff cannot be trusted not to leak sensitive information, a former NSA analyst claims.
In a column written by John R. Schindler for The Observer, the security expert and former professor at the U.S. Naval War College claims that the NSA has stopped its decades-old practice of preparing special reports for U.S. presidents since Trump took office.
Schindler added that the NSA’s concerns were shared across the American intelligence community, and it appears that other agencies are withholding intelligence from the White House as well.
According to Schindler, the intelligence community’s fears were prompted by the ties of senior members of the Trump administration to the Kremlin, as well as “nagging questions about basic competence regarding Team Trump.”
“Since January 20, we’ve assumed that the Kremlin has ears inside the SITROOM,” Schindler cites a senior Pentagon official as saying, meaning the White House Situation Room where the president is briefed on intelligence matters.
Schindler’s claims echo a January report on Yedioth Ahronoth by Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman, which said that Israeli intelligence officials are concerned that the exposure of classified information to their American counterparts under a Trump administration could lead to their being leaked to Russia and onward to Iran.
According to Bergman, the American intelligence officials implied that Israel should “be careful” when transferring intelligence information to the White House and the National Security Council (NSC) following Trump’s inauguration at least until it is clear that Trump does not have inappropriate connections with Russia.