CNN’s Phil Mudd Concerned About a Trump ‘Loyalist’ as Intel Chief: Will They Speak About Russian Interference?

CNN’s Phil Mudd, a former CIA counterterrorism official, told Jake Tapper this afternoon he has concerns about what the departure of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and deputy DNI Sue Gordon.

He noted how Coats “said something different in public about election security and Russian interference than the president wanted him to say” before bringing up his big concern:

“Going into election season, if you have a loyalist in that office, will they speak about what the intelligence community sees in terms of Russian interference, or will they hear the same thing they hear from the Oval Office, including the Congress of the United States who will be briefed by the DNI? I’d be worried that the intel will be masked by someone who wants to reflect the president’s words, and there is a big air gap between what the intel guys believe and what the president says.”

He said he doesn’t know Joseph Maguire — Trump’s pick for acting DNI — well, but he has a good reputation among people he knows.

“I suspect he was appointed to the acting position because the president knew he would be an easy sell for a short period of time among intelligence professionals and on Capitol Hill. I would be surprised if the president — surprised is a mild word, if the president nominates him full time,” Mudd said.

You can watch above, via CNN.

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac