Trump’s DNI Pick Part of His Efforts to Control US Spy Agencies: Analyst

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An American political analyst said Donald Trump’s pick to serve temporarily as director of national intelligence (DNI), Richard Grenell, is part of the US president’s efforts to wield personal control over the country’s intelligence agencies.

Trump’s DNI Pick Part of His Efforts to Control US Spy Agencies: Analyst

“Donald Trump’s primary requirement for his appointees is 'personal loyalty' and allegiance. Trump has made this a requirement for all positions within his administration and is a main reason why his Cabinet is dominated by 'Acting' Secretaries and there is a tremendous number of vacancies among the secondary positions such as Deputy and Assistant Secretaries and Directors,” Rodney Martin told Tasnim when asked about the reason behind Trump’s pick to lead the US intelligence community. 

Martin is a retired Judge and a former Congressional Staffer. He was a Harry S. Trauma Scholar and Lyndon B. Johnson Congressional Fellow. Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, Martin has held several US Federal, State and Local positions.

Following is the full text of the interview.

Tasnim: US President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he has named Richard Grenell, a staunch loyalist, as acting spy chief. Grenell will retain his ambassadorship to Germany while he is acting Director of National Intelligence, according to a senior administration official. What do you think about this decision by Trump?

Martin: This demonstrates two very serious problems Donald Trump faces, the first is his own narcissism wherein he will remove any government official who he deems disloyal to him personally. This is the “Cult of Personality” Donald Trump has sought to implement which was first revealed when he called then FBI Director James Comey to a private dinner and demanded personal loyalty to him. Second, it shows Trump has a serious problem in finding real and experienced talent to fill very serious positions for a couple of reasons the first being Trump’s demand for “personal loyalty” and secondly no person who has a serious and experienced resume as well as personal integrity will work for Donald Trump given the toxic atmosphere he has fostered in his administration. An example of this is Trump’s allowing rather low-level advisors to dictate policy to Cabinet Secretaries as is the case with Stephen Miller who at least has had his hand in the dismissal of an Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security. Donald Trump’s Administration is dominated by “flunkies” who have limited experience but have sold their souls in the form of worshiping the Trump “Cult of Personality”.

Finally, Grenell retaining his Ambassador position is complete silliness, will he do conducting his Intelligence duties from the US Embassy in Berlin?  Of course the US has a history of using its Embassies as instruments of intelligence gathering.

Tasnim: Grenell's lack of intelligence-related experience is likely to unsettle the US intelligence community. But it does not appear that Trump is looking for someone with deep intelligence experience in the role. Intelligence experts are skeptical that Grenell is qualified for the job. What is your take on this?

Martin: Trump cares little for real position credentials and experience and more about installing individuals who will tell him what he wants to hear and then go out and attempt to make what is often fantasy into reality. While US Intelligence has not been stellar, Trump installing Grenell will only erode US Intelligence even more and will result in complete politicization of US Intelligence and Trump making even more absurd public pronouncements. 

Tasnim: Do you believe that the appointment of Grenell is a continuing effort by Trump to wield personal control over the spy agencies, according to multiple US reports.

Martin: Yes, absolutely. As I have indicated, Donald Trump’s primary requirement for his appointees is “personal loyalty” and allegiance. Trump has made this a requirement for all positions within his administration and (this) is a main reason why his Cabinet is dominated by “Acting” Secretaries and there is a tremendous number of vacancies among the secondary positions such as Deputy and Assistant Secretaries and Directors. Simply put, Trump’s refusal to accept real talent in favor of flunkies and hacks is a reason he has been so frustrated in realizing many of his objectives, his inferiority complex coupled by his narcissism will not allow him to recruit and retain highly qualified persons whose loyalty is to the Country, the Constitution and the Rule of Law.

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