Here's just one example. The FBI is a key part of the Deep State. It's one of the member agencies of the Intelligence Community, and the lead counterintelligence (CI) agency. As such, it is supervised by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), who is a cabinet level appointee who reports to the President. At the same time, the FBI is an agency of the Department of Justice, and the FBI Director reports not just to the DNI but to the Deputy AG. As such, the FBI is the federal government's lead law enforcement agency--a role which is fully compatible with its CI role, despite what you may hear to the contrary.
Does this give some idea of the complex web I referred to? The AG, for example, may not be a formal member of the IC, but the crucial role of the FBI in CI means that the DNI cannot afford to ignore DoJ. After all, the FBI may end up investigating other IC members and and answering in that regard to the AG!
And that's just one partial example.
So, who are members of the IC, and therefore at the center of the Deep State? Wikipedia can provide us with a handy list:
- Office of the Director of National Intelligence
- Independent agencies
- United States Department of Defense
- United States Department of Energy
- United States Department of Homeland Security
- United States Department of Justice
- United States Department of State
- United States Department of the Treasury
Notice that all these agencies fall under a Department--all except the CIA, which is an "independent agency". What's that, you ask? If you follow the link, above, you'll find that Wikipedia has an answer for that, too:
Independent agencies of the United States federal government are agencies that exist outside the federal executive departments (those headed by a Cabinet secretary) and the Executive Office of the President. In a narrower sense, the term may also be used to describe agencies that, while constitutionally managed by the executive branch, are independent of presidential control, usually because the president's power to dismiss the agency head or a member is limited.
Established through separate statutes passed by the Congress, each respective statutory grant of authority defines the goals the agency must work towards, as well as what substantive areas, if any, over which it may have the power of rulemaking. These agency rules (or regulations), when in force, have the power of federal law.
Once again, if you followed the link above, you'd get a list of these agencies, including such familiar entities beyond the IC and the CIA as: EPA, FTC, GSA, NASA, and on, and on, and on. How does all this fit within our constitutional order? Please, don't ask!
Imagine any president trying to ride herd over that alphabet soup of agencies, especially when their career bureaucrats are recalcitrant, or outright members of a Resistance!
And then there's the National Security Council. Check that out, to see who belongs, who attends regularly, etc. Some IC agency heads belong, others have department heads who attend and, presumably represent their interests--for example, the AG attends, so you can bet that the FBI Director wants to have some input into deliberations through the AG.
As if that weren't complicated enough, all these agencies undergo "oversight" by House and Senate committees--which means confirmations, budgets, priorities, etc. Can you say divided loyalties?
So this is what Trump is dealing with--or trying to. And it doesn't stop there. Check out this twitter feed by Greg Rubini. The Deep State doesn't stop where the boundaries of government agencies stop, because there's a revolving door of political appointees, whose careers in government span administrations.