President Donald Trump on Wednesday unleashed a stream of insults at the nation’s intelligence officials after they published a report directly contradicting some of his most frequent false claims about foreign policy.
Trump, who has regularly undermined and questioned the work of institutions and officials in his own administration, referred to “the Intelligence people” as “extremely passive and naive” and suggested they “should go back to school.”
Trump’s string of tweets came after the leaders of the top national intelligence agencies on Tuesday released their annual report on worldwide security threats. The report challenged many false talking points frequently made by the president, who is known to not read his regular intelligence briefings, preferring to receive important information from Fox News, his favorite cable news network.
Dan Coats, Trump’s director of national intelligence, testified before the Senate Tuesday that intelligence officials have no evidence to conclude that Iran is close to producing a nuclear weapon — contradicting Trump’s claim that Iran is “coming very close to the edge.”
Coats also contradicted Trump’s previous claim that the U.S. had defeated ISIS, telling senators that “ISIS is intent on resurging.”
The report also detailed Russian efforts to interfere in U.S. elections, as well as the threat of climate change on national security.
Trump has taken Russian President Vladimir Putin’s word over that of his own intelligence officials’ conclusion that the country’s government interfered in U.S. elections, amid the ongoing investigations into whether his 2016 campaign colluded with Russia.
The president has also falsely propagated the conspiracy theory that climate change is a hoax.