CIA Director Pompeo: Trump's Tweeting Has Actually Helped Us
The mainstream media's usual hand-wringing about President Trump's Twitter habit morphed into hyperventilation last week after he shared several "unverified" tweets about terrorism, but the director of the Central Intelligence Agency surprisingly doesn't have a problem with it.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo said at a national security event in Simi Valley, California, over the weekend that Trump's tweeting has actually yielded helpful intelligence.
The current CIA director sat down with former CIA director Leon Panetta and Fox News host Brett Baier for an hour of discussion on world events from a security perspective at The Reagan National Defense Forum on Saturday.
Baier brought up Trump's tweets about the Muslim videos and asked Panetta why he thought "it was like playing with fire."
"When you tweet something like that out there you don't know what the consequences are going to be, and the consequences could be lives," Panetta replied solemnly. Baier turned to Pompeo: "One account on Twitter makes your job harder?" he asked. The CIA director's answer was almost certainly not what the host expected. "No, I don't know that that's the case," he replied. "I've actually seen it help us."
"I have seen things the president has put on his Twitter account actually have a real-world impact on our capacity to understand what's going on in other places of the world," Pompeo said. "That is, our adversaries responded to those tweets in ways that were helpful to us to understand command and control issues, who's listening to what messages, how those messages are resonating around the world," he added. Panetta seemed taken aback by Pompeo's answer.
"As a former chief-of-staff, I cannot imagine what it'd like to serve a president who tweets in the morning," he said. "The whole purpose of the White House is to develop some discipline."