Washington (AFP): US President Donald Trump plans to make a visit to the CIA Saturday, his spokesman said, in what was certain to be a politically charged event after his bitter feud with the US intelligence agency.
“@POTUS to visit @CIA this afternoon. Event is over capacity at 300+ Excited to thank the men and women of the intelligence community,” spokesman Sean Spicer said in a tweet.
The new president was moving quickly on his first full day in office to confront the simmering tensions left by US intelligence findings that Russia interfered in the US elections to try to tip the outcome in Trump’s favor.
Mike Pompeo, Trump’s pick to lead the CIA, has not yet been confirmed by the US Senate.
A 52-year-old Republican lawmaker, Pompeo is considered a foreign policy hawk and was an ardent opponent of former president Barack Obama’s administration.
Outgoing CIA director John Brennan, who took umbrage at Trump’s attacks on the intelligence agency, warned last Sunday he needed to be more “disciplined” in his public comments.
“I don’t think he has a full appreciation of Russian capabilities, Russia’s intentions and actions,” Brennan said of Trump on Fox News Sunday.
Trump, likening US intelligence to Nazis, suggested Brennan himself may have leaked an unsubstantiated report that the Russians had gathered damaging salacious personal information about him.
The intelligence agencies had given both Trump and Obama a summary of the dossier, which later was published in full by BuzzFeed.
Brennan said the US intelligence chiefs considered it their responsibility to make Trump aware that it was in circulation.