I need not summarize or include an article link for Trump’s ranting and raving during his first press conference, there are plenty. But amidst all the fear and uncertainty of Trump, there is a silver lining in this which is more freedom for the intelligence community and the press.
Here’s what I mean. For years the media have been criticized, often by the political right, that they had a “liberal bias,” which was a stupid statement to begin with since all media in a liberal democracy is expected to be liberal, i.e. critical of government, otherwise it’s propaganda. But this began with the Republicans crying foul and wanting “balanced” coverage and we had the creation of Fox News which became an outlet for them and things heated up when the Tea Party emerged. We continually saw calls for both sides to be represented in stories even if one side was inherently irrational and non-sensible. Things have progressed to the point that the far-right, which Trump now seems to represent, has now called any media that tries to critique him as not only being unfair but “fake” which was what he claimed the BBC and CNN were (“fake news”). While this is shocking it’s also liberating. It’s liberating because the media should no longer feel bound to provide Trump with “balanced” coverage since he’s written them off for doing their job. The gloves can come off as they always should have. It has always been the job of the media first and foremost to hold government to account. It’s Trump who needs the media not the other way around. If he refuses them access, they are free to report as they like on him and his propaganda will have a much harder time getting anywhere.
It is a trickery matter with intelligence since it is often government that is the principal customer of intelligence and holds the purse strings. But Congress has so far shown it is not completely onside with Trump’s attacks on the community. And the community has been given the PR gift of a lifetime, especially from all the negative press it received over the years with the war on terror and the Iraq war. It can also take the gloves off a little more and claim it is going to bat for the American people in holding the executive branch to account by presevering the security of the nation against foreign espionage attempts. If this means revealing corruption and wrongdoing on the part of Trump in relation to Russia, so be it. Trump’s insistent attacks, and in some cases dismissal of them, have given them the ability to work with Congress to expose his wrongdoing and claim they are doing it in the interests of the American people. I’m not talking about deliberately trying to undermine him (might happen though) but no one has to go to bat for him to prevent embarrassing material from getting out. They could help expose it if it risks the security of the nation because the President is able to be blackmailed. Is it all unprecedented? Absolutely. Trump compared his intelligence services to Nazi Germany. But it’s not all bad, except for Trump.