Trump skeptical of using foreign spies to collect intel on hostile countries, sources say

Source: CNN | September 10, 2019 | Jim Sciutto and Marshall Cohen

(CNN) – President Donald Trump has privately and repeatedly expressed opposition to the use of foreign intelligence from covert sources, including overseas spies who provide the US government with crucial information about hostile countries, according to multiple senior officials who served under Trump.

Trump has privately said that foreign spies can damage relations with their host countries and undermine his personal relationships with their leaders, the sources said. The President “believes we shouldn’t be doing that to each other,” one former Trump administration official told CNN.

In addition to his fear such foreign intelligence sources will damage his relationship with foreign leaders, Trump has expressed doubts about the credibility of the information they provide. Another former senior intelligence official told CNN that Trump “believes they’re people who are selling out their country.”

Even in public, Trump has looked down on these foreign assets, as they are known in the intelligence community. Responding to reports that the CIA recruited Kim Jong Un’s brother as a spy, Trump said he “wouldn’t let that happen under my auspices.”

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