Trump Flunks Intelligence Test

Trump this morning said that not only did 17 US intelligence agencies not conclude that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, but that the United States ONLY HAS “three or four” intelligence agencies, which he discovered after “heavy research.” It’s fascinating that the president of the United States wouldn’t know whether it’s three or four (as it can’t be both). Without even breaking a sweat, I can name four: CIA, DIA, FBI, NSA. Which one did Trump forget or never know about?

At any rate, I did some “heavy research” of my own — using a sophisticated intel-gathering gizmo called the Google Machine. In all of 20 seconds, I found that there are, in fact, 16 US intelligence agencies (17 if one counts the Office of DNI, which oversees all 16). In fact, one need only check Wikipedia, for crying out loud, to discover that 9 of the 16 are so independent that even though they all (excepting the CIA) fall under federal departments, they have no parent agencies. The other 7 might be called subdivisions of parent agencies — but again, all together, there are 16. Each one even has its own seal! (Maybe a color-in-the-agency-seal book would help Trump learn his intelligence agencies.)

I was pondering where Trump came up with this — did his crack heavy-research team mean that only three or four federal DEPARTMENTS have intelligence agencies, trying to use that rationale to explain his “three or four” number? Alas, there are intelligence agencies that fall under the Departments of Defense, State, Homeland Security, Treasury, Energy, Justice, and CIA (which is its own independent “department”).

So to review, the DNI coordinates the work of 7 federal departments that run 16 different intelligence agencies, 9 of which operate so independently that they have no parent agencies. Three or four, eh?

Here again we see that, in the Age of Trump, there ARE NO FACTS. That, of course, is how we got to the Age of Trump to begin with: breathtaking and proud ignorance and delusion.

-bb