Former C.I.A. Head Calls Trump "An Unwitting Agent of the Russian Federation" in NYT Op-Ed

Friday August 5, 2016

Former acting and deputy director of the C.I.A. Michael J. Morrell has called GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump "an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation." He says that the country will be much safer with Hillary Clinton as president.

Morrell's comments came in an op-ed piece he wrote for The New York Times titled "I Ran the C.I.A. Now I'm Endorsing Hillary Clinton,"The New York Times titled "I Ran the C.I.A. Now I'm Endorsing Hillary Clinton," where he praised the former Secretary of State as being "highly qualified," and called Trump "a threat to our national security."

"I spent four years working with Mrs. Clinton when she was secretary of state, most often in the White House Situation Room," Morrell wrote. "In these critically important meetings, I found her to be prepared, detail-oriented, thoughtful, inquisitive and willing to change her mind if presented with a compelling argument."

"I never saw her bring politics into the Situation Room," Morrell continued. "In fact, I saw the opposite. When some wanted to delay the Bin Laden raid by one day because the White House Correspondents Dinner might be disrupted, she said, "Screw the White House Correspondents Dinner."

Morrell, who served presidents of both parties and was at President George W. Bush's side when the United States was attacked on Sept. 11; as deputy director of the agency, expressed concerns that Trump was already damaging national security and had unwittingly fallen prey to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

"President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia was a career intelligence officer, trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them. That is exactly what he did early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump's vulnerabilities by complimenting him. He responded just as Mr. Putin had calculated.

"Mr. Putin is a great leader, Mr. Trump says, ignoring that he has killed and jailed journalists and political opponents, has invaded two of his neighbors and is driving his economy to ruin. Mr. Trump has also taken policy positions consistent with Russian, not American, interests - endorsing Russian espionage against the United States, supporting Russia's annexation of Crimea and giving a green light to a possible Russian invasion of the Baltic States.

"In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation," Morrell concluded.

Michael Morrell was the acting director and deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2010 to 2013.