PRESIDENT Donald Trump made a peace offering to the CIA and sought divine blessing for his administration Saturday, but mass protests in multiple cities provided a graphic demonstration of the nation’s huge political divides.
Trump traveled to the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, for a briefing from senior agency leaders and spoke to several hundred people in the spy agency’s foyer, in front of the wall of honor where fallen operatives are remembered with stars.
“This is my first stop officially, there is nobody that feels stronger about the intelligence community and the CIA than Donald Trump, there is nobody,” Trump said. “I am so behind you and I know that maybe sometimes you haven’t got the backing that you wanted.”
But the President also made several departures and digressions from the issue of the CIA, complaining about the media’s treatment of him, and accusing television stations of lying about the size of the crowd at his inauguration.
“I have a running war with the media, they are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth — they sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community. The reason you are the number one stop is exactly the opposite,” he said.
At the same time, the gesture of the visit was an important moment for Trump, who raised doubts about his relationship with US intelligence agencies by initially casting doubt on their assessment that Russia intervened in the election by hacking Democratic email accounts. He had also spurred doubts about his willingness to accept traditional presidential daily briefings on the gravest security threats facing the United States.