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Trump: President Can't Always Trust Intelligence Agencies – RealClearPolitics

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In an interview with “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan, President Trump discussed his relationship with U.S. intelligence agencies, pointing out that they have made mistakes in the past and he doesn’t always agree with their conclusions.

He cited the Iraq War as “one of the greatest mistakes that we’ve ever made” and seemed skeptical about intelligence he was getting on Iran.

“I have intel people, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree. President Bush had intel people that said Saddam Hussein in Iraq had nuclear weapons- had all sorts of weapons of mass destruction. Guess what? Those intel people didn’t know what the hell they were doing, and they got us tied up in a war that we should have never been in. And we’ve spent seven trillion dollars in the Middle East and we have lost lives.”

MARGARET BRENNAN: So you’re going to trust the intelligence that you receive?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I am going to trust the intelligence that I’m putting there, but I will say this: my intelligence people, if they said in fact that Iran is a wonderful kindergarten, I disagree with them 100 percent. It is a vicious country that kills many people. When you talk about torture and so many other things. And- maybe they’ll come back. The country is getting absolutely- when I ended the horrible Iran nuclear deal- it was a horrible deal done by President Obama and John Kerry that didn’t know what the hell he was doing. When I ended that deal, Margaret, all of a sudden Iran became a different country. They became- very rapidly- right now they’re a country that’s in big financial trouble. Let’s see what happens.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to move on here but I should say your intel chiefs do say Iran’s abiding by that nuclear deal. I know you think it’s a bad deal, but–

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I disagree with them. I’m- I’m- by the way–

MARGARET BRENNAN: You disagree with that assessment?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: –I have intel people, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree. President Bush had intel people that said Saddam Hussein–

MARGARET BRENNAN: Sure.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: –in Iraq had nuclear weapons- had all sorts of weapons of mass destruction. Guess what? Those intel people didn’t know what the hell they were doing, and they got us tied up in a war that we should have never been in. And we’ve spent seven trillion dollars in the Middle East and we have lost lives–

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you trust your national security adviser John Bolton because he worked in the Bush administration?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I do, and I respect John and John is not one of the people that happened to be testifying or on.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Got it.

Watch more from Trump’s interview:

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