A former head of the Central Intelligence Agency this week praised the so-called “Deep State” for “doing its duty” and “responding to a higher call” by calling out President Donald Trump’s activities involving Ukraine and kicking off the impeachment inquiry.
Speaking to a panel of former FBI and intelligence officials at George Mason University in Virginia, former acting CIA chief John McLaughlin — who served in the agency under presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush — told the moderator “Thank God for the deep state.”
Former CIA Director John McLaughlin on Trump Impeachment: ‘Thank God for the Deep State’ https://t.co/3Sa0qggi2s— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) November 1, 2019
The question put to McLaughlin by moderator Margaret Brennan of CBS News was whether President Trump’s complaints about a cabal of government bureaucrats trying to undermine his presidency had any legitimacy.
The answer, from McLaughlin, was, flippantly, yes.
“Think about it for a minute,” he said. “With all of the people who knew what was going on here, it took an intelligence operative to step forward and say something about it. Which was the trigger that then unleashed everything else.”
“Why does that happen?” McLaughlin continued. “This is the institution within the U.S. government that, with all of its flaws — and it makes mistakes — is institutionally committed to objectivity and to telling the truth. It is one of the few institutions in Washington that is not in a chain of command that makes or implements policy. Its whole job is to speak the truth.”
“These are people who are doing their duty or responding to a higher call,” he said.
McLaughlin made the remarks Wednesday evening at an event hosted by the Michael V. Hayden Center and Schar School of Policy and Government at GWU. Other panelists included former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell.
McLaughlin served as Deputy Director of the CIA from 2000 to 2004 and was acting director of the agency for just over two months in 2004.