The Trump administration is considering launching a global and private network of “off the books“ spies to combat “deep state” enemies working to undermine President Donald Trump's presidency, according to a new report.
The Intercept reported on Tuesday that Blackwater founder Erik Prince, a retired CIA officer, and Oliver North, who played a key role in the Iran-Contra scandal, reportedly were brought together to “sell the effort” to the administration.
According to the report, “The creation of such a program raises the possibility that the effort would be used to create an intelligence apparatus to justify the Trump administration’s political agenda.”
The proposed network of spies would bypass official U.S. intelligence agencies, reporting directly to CIA Director Mike Pompeo, current and former U.S. intelligence officials told The Intercept.
A former senior U.S. intelligence official close to the proposal told The Intercept: “Pompeo can’t trust the CIA bureaucracy, so we need to create this thing that reports just directly to him.”
Throughout his time in office, the president has railed against the “deep state," or supposed holdover government workers now in his administration who are believed to be working to undermine Trump's actions.
In November, Trump tweeted: “Why aren’t our deep state authorities looking at this? Rigged & corrupt?” in relation to “Crooked Hillary Emails.”
Charles McCullough, the respected fmr Intel Comm Inspector General, said public was misled on Crooked Hillary Emails. “Emails endangered National Security.” Why aren’t our deep State authorities looking at this? Rigged & corrupt? @TuckerCarlson @seanhannity
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2017
While The Intercept reports that senior Trump officials, including Vice President Pence, have been briefed on the proposals, the National Security Council said in a statement that the White House “does not and would not support such a proposal."