Ruppersberger Issues Statement in Response to President Trump’s Tweet Critical of Intelligence Leadership
(Washington, DC) – Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger today issued the following statement after President Trump described former intelligence leaders as “sleazebags,” “dirty cops” and “liars,” as explanation for his suggested preference for Russian President Vladimir Putin:
“President Trump’s continued deference to Vladimir Putin over his own career intelligence officials should alarm us all. Yet again yesterday, the President publicly disparaged the brave patriots of our intelligence community, who are our nation’s best defense against terrorism, nuclear weapons, cyber attacks and financial crimes.
The President’s words and actions clearly suggest he “respects and even trusts” Putin over the American intelligence community. Putin reportedly placed bounties on the heads of American soldiers — President Trump did nothing. Russia continues to disrupt our elections while President Trump looks the other way. In Helsinski, President said he believed Putin over his then-intelligence director.
I spent 12 years on the House Intelligence Committee, including four as its Ranking Member. I have met with members of our intelligence community on the front lines in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, South America and Syria. They are law-abiding, smart and dedicated. They are also largely apolitical. The vast majority accept a mission that is critical to our system of checks and balances.
Their job isn’t to agree or disagree with politicians, regardless of party, but to help them make informed decisions. Their job is to speak truth to power. And this is why President Trump is reluctant to embrace them as he has Vladimir Putin.”