Trump’s new Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, has wasted no time in cleaning house in the intelligence community. Mr. Grenell dismissed Andrew Hallman, the Deputy Director of National Intelligence.
His dismissal was quickly followed by the resignation of Joseph Maguire, acting Director of National Intelligence.
A President certainly has the right to install administration officials he deems loyal and fit for office. Democrats, however, are furious that the President would even think to install someone that supports him.
Check out the Democrats responses:
The New York Times reports:
Richard Grenell’s tenure as the nation’s top intelligence official may be short-lived, but he wasted no time this week starting to shape his team of advisers, ousting his office’s No. 2 official — a longtime intelligence officer — and bringing in an expert on Trump conspiracy theories to help lead the agency, according to officials.
Mr. Grenell has also requested the intelligence behind the classified briefing last week before the House Intelligence Committee where officials told lawmakers that Russia was interfering in November’s presidential election and that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia favored President Trump’s re-election. The briefing later prompted Mr. Trump’s anger as he complained that Democrats would use it against him.
Joseph Maguire, the former acting director of national intelligence, and his deputy, Andrew P. Hallman, resigned on Friday. Mr. Grenell told Mr. Hallman, popular in the office’s Liberty Crossing headquarters, that his service was no longer needed, according to two officials. Mr. Hallman, who has worked in the office or at the C.I.A. for three decades, expressed confidence in his colleagues in a statement but also referred to the “uncertainties that come with change.”
The ouster of Mr. Hallman and exit of Mr. Maguire, who also oversaw the National Counterterrorism Center, allowed Mr. Grenell to install his own leadership team.
One of his first hires was Kashyap Patel, a senior National Security Council staff member and former key aide to Representative Devin Nunes, Republican of California and the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Mr. Patel will have a mandate to “clean house,” CBS News reported, citing a person close to the matter.
Mr. Patel was best known as the lead author of a politically charged memo two years ago that accused F.B.I. and Justice Department leaders of abusing their surveillance powers to spy on a former Trump campaign adviser. The memo was widely criticized as misleading, though an inspector general later found other problems with aspects of the surveillance.
The Hill had this to add:
The shakeup comes as reports say Trump was frustrated with Maguire and alleged his disloyalty after House lawmakers were briefed last week on Russian interference in the 2020 election to help reelect Trump.
Grenell has reportedly asked for the intelligence information behind the briefing given to lawmakers.
Trump has since denied the reports Russia is interfering on his behalf in the 2020 election, accusing Democrats of "trying to start a rumor" as well as a "disinformation campaign."
Also check out this video of a member of Congress trashing the new director: