President offered no clarity on how long Joseph Maguire would serve as acting national-intelligence director
And why should he be? He likes the acting guy just fine: Joseph Maguire. Was this a brilliant finesse?
“I’m in no rush because we have a great acting [director],” Mr. Trump said.
Mr. Trump on Thursday ousted Sue Gordon, the No. 2 intelligence official, after his allies urged her removal to block her ascension to acting director of national intelligence following the departure of Dan Coats next week. Mr. Trump announced Mr. Coats’s planned departure last month.
I find this misuse of the word "ascension" deeply annoying. We're not talking about Jesus here--it's just Sue Gordon. And yet I see this misuse regularly, including not only by journalists but by actually highly educated people. The word they want is accession.
The president initially said he would nominate Rep. John Ratcliffe (R., Texas), a staunch ally who sharply criticized former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, as his permanent successor, but Mr. Ratcliffe withdrew less than a week later amid scrutiny of his résumé and opposition from key senators.
Mr. Trump’s critics have warned him against politicizing an intelligence community ...
We'll pause briefly here to laugh our hooha off.
“The mission of the intelligence community is to speak truth to power,” Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said.
Speak truth? He can't be serious!
Ms. Gordon’s removal is widely viewed as more alarming within the intelligence community than the ousting of her boss, current and former U.S. officials said. Though Mr. Coats had more face time with Mr. Trump and typically delivered the presidential daily briefing, Ms. Gordon oversaw the day-to-day operations of the Office of National Intelligence, helping to coordinate the disparate activities of the 17 agencies that make up the intelligence-community bureaucracy.
"More alarming than the ousting of Dan Coats"? Wow! That is really good news! But maybe you're asking yourselves at this point, what exactly did this Wonder Woman bring to the IC? Get the full details here: PRINCIPAL DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE. Highlights:
Ms. Gordon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology (biomechanics) from Duke University where she was the captain of the Duke Women’s Basketball team.
Now you're probably asking, Where can you go in the IC with those credentials? The answer is, a BS in zoology and captaincy of a women's basketball team can take you to the very highest pinnacles of the IC. You can go very far--very very far--with those "credentials." And you thought maybe Matt Whitaker wasn't qualified to be Acting AG because his JD wasn't Ivy League? Ha!
She joined the CIA in 1980 as an analyst in the Office of Scientific and Weapons Research, and went on to serve as the Director of the Office of Advanced Analytic Tools, Director of Special Activities in the Directorate of Science and Technology, Director for Support, and ultimately in concurrent roles as Director of the Information Operations Center and the CIA Director’s senior advisor on cyber. In 1998, she designed and drove the formation of In-Q-Tel, a private, non-profit company whose primary purpose is to deliver innovative technology solutions for the agency and the IC.
She also championed agile governance, recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce, and expansion of geospatial intelligence services to the open marketplace. She is known for her commitment to diversity and inclusion ...
￼Back to the WSJ. Our intrepid reporter sought comment from, well, the usual suspects. Michael Morell, IC Clintonista deluxe, was asked for his opinion on this development:
Joe McGuire, head of the National CT Center, will do a good job as Acting DNI. But, the loss of Sue Gordon will be devastating to the IC. Her deep experience and her creativity and innovation will be greatly missed. The nation is the loser.
Boo hoo! Am I alone in thinking that this is exactly the type of devastation the IC needs? If it's devastation to Mike Morell, I want more of the same!
Allies of the White House and security officials predicted she would resign after Mr. Trump said Mr. Coats would step down. The White House hadn’t communicated directly with Ms. Gordon about her status until this week, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said last Friday. But allies of the president accused her of being part of an alleged “deep-state” group of anti-Trump intelligence bureaucrats, making her position untenable.
A tweet last week from the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., that derisively labeled her “besties with [former CIA Director John] Brennan and the rest of the clown cadre” personally stung Ms. Gordon, who had prided herself on her apolitical reputation, according to a person familiar with the matter. She had spent her entire career in the intelligence world and loved her work, people who know her said.
And now comes the best part:
Former National Security Agency director Michael Rogers, a retired Navy admiral, has a “leg up” in the running to be director of national intelligence, a former senior intelligence official said. Mr. Rogers was considered for the role during the presidential transition period after Mr. Trump’s 2016 election.
Trump has to be chuckling over this.