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CIA analyst quits because of Trump

A veteran of the agency, Edward Price is critical of the president's rift with intelligence agencies.
President Donald Trump speaks at the CIA headquarters on Jan. 21.Getty Images

Calling President Donald Trump's actions in office "disturbing," a CIA analyst stepped down from his post last week. His resignation letter was published in full by the Washington Post Monday.

Edward Price, who most recently served as the senior director on the National Security Counsel, worked under former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. In his letter, he described the honor of having his analysis presented to the Oval Office and informing policy.

"This is how the system is supposed to work," said Price, who dedicated himself to the CIA since he was in college.

"Despite working proudly for Republican and Democratic presidents, I reluctantly concluded that I cannot in good faith serve this administration as an intelligence professional," his letter states.

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Price wrote that Trump's administration is taking a different approach, evidenced by the president's rhetoric while still campaigning last year.

"Iwatched in disbelief when, during the third presidential debate, Trump casually cast doubt on the high-confidence conclusion of our 17 intelligence agencies, released that month, that Russia was behind the hacking and release of election-related emails," Price wrote, adding that Trump has repeatedly cited a flawed 2002 report on Iran's weapons programs as evidence that the CIA cannot be trusted.

And after his inauguration, Price said Trump's actions were no better. On his first full day in office, the president toured CIA headquarters.

"Standing in front of a memorial to the CIA’s fallen officers, he seemed to be addressing the cameras and reporters in the room, rather than the agency personnel in front of them, bragging about his inauguration crowd the previous day," the analyst wrote.

"I couldn’t help but reflect on the stark contrast between the bombast of the new president and the quiet dedication of a mentor — a courageous, dedicated professional — who is memorialized on that wall."

Trump's speech drew criticism from former CIA Director John Brennan, who said he was "deeply saddened and angered" by the president's speech.

In that speech, Trump affirmed the intelligence community that he is "1,000 percent" behind them.

"There is nobody that feels stronger about the intelligence community and the CIA than Donald Trump," he remarked, blaming the media for the perceived rift between the president and intelligence agencies.

Price's resignation and letter come against a backdrop of reports that intelligence officials are withholding information from Trump, citing fears it would be compromised or leaked.

Price, a veteran of the CIA for more than a decade, citted Trump's decision to put Stephen Bannon on the National Security Council as "the final straw" for his resignation, adding thatit's clear the White House has "little need" for intelligence officials who would challenge Trump's "America First" ethos.

"That’s why the president’s trusted White House advisers, not career professionals, reportedly have final say over what intelligence reaches his desk," Price wrote.

 
 
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