Donald Trump is planning to restructure the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Central Intelligence Agency because they have become too "politicized," according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal. In particular, the report reads, he plans to scale back the staff at the CIA's headquarters in Langley, VA and push more employees to international field posts. The ODNI may also be downsized.
The president-elect has made no secret of his distaste for how the agencies have handled the hacking scandal, doubting their conclusions at every turn. Why shouldn't he, he said, considering how inaccurate these experts were about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?
He and the intelligence community have even been bickering over what day they had scheduled a meeting about the hacking. Trump said they had intentionally delayed the discussion because they did not have enough evidence to indict Russia. The intel officials said they never postponed the meeting.
Trump cleared things up a bit on Twitter on Thursday, noting the media was wrong in assuming he was taking sides with Julian Assange versus the U.S. intelligence entities. He is actually a "big fan" of the latter, he said.
At a Senate hearing on the hacks on Thursday, ODNI Director James Clapper said he has not discussed any significant changes to the office with Trump.
Incoming press secretary Sean Spicer put a hole in the WSJ report, noting Trump does not plan to alter the CIA or ODNI.
"There is no truth" to that, he said.