President Donald Trump ripped his top intelligence officials Wednesday for an assessment they presented to Congress that threw cold water on suggestions Iran is seeking to build a nuclear weapon, and cast doubt that North Korea will ever agree to give up its program.
“The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong!” the president said in a pair of lengthy tweets. “Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!”
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and the heads of America’s intelligence agencies on Tuesday presented lawmakers with their annual global threats assessment.
The top intelligence officials assessed that Iran continues to abide by a nuclear pact it struck with world powers that curbed its nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.
Coats said the country is “not currently undertaking the key nuclear weapons-development activities we judge necessary to produce a nuclear device,” but noted threats from some Iranian officials to reverse course if it does not receive the benefits it agreed to.
Trump unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from the pact in May, despite warnings from close allies not to do so. He had repeatedly called the deal a horrible agreement for the U.S., and has called on other nations to follow his leading in exiting the agreement. But none have.
“They are testing Rockets (last week) and more, and are coming very close to the edge,” Trump said without specifying what he was referring to.
Coats further said North Korea “will seek to retain its WMD capabilities and is unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production capabilities because its leaders ultimately view nuclear weapons as critical to regime survival.”
The intelligence officials said they detected “some activity that is inconsistent with full denuclearization,” which has continued after a summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in June.
Trump is preparing to meet for a second time with Kim next month and insisted on Twitter that the chances of North Korea agreeing to give up its nuclear arms remains “decent” despite the intelligence assessment.
“I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un shortly. Progress being made-big difference!” he said.