Two top U.S. intelligence leaders told members of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday that President Donald Trump has “reentered the battle space” to assert American leadership around the globe after years under Barack Obama’s watch where it was “completely absent.”
“This administration has reentered the battle space in places the previous administration was completely absent,” CIA Director Mike Pompeo said during the hearing focused on threats the United States faces around the world.
Pompeo said in his experience the world community welcomes American leadership.
“They are not looking for American soldiers,” Pompeo said. “They’re not looking for boots on the ground.”
“They’re looking for American leadership around the globe and this president has reentered that space in a way that I think will serve America’s interest very well,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo’s remarks came after Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) spoke about his impression of Trump’s relationship with the intelligence community and his attention to national and international security.
“The media isn’t as focused on this administration’s fast and, in my judgement, robust engagement with the intelligence communities around the world and with other governments,” Risch said.
“My impression is it’s good and it is aggressive,” Risch said and then asked witnesses for their impression.
“I think most presidents that come into office come with an agenda in mind in terms of what issues they would like to pursue — many of them domestic issues that affect infrastructure, education — a number of things,” Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said. “Only to find that this is a dangerous world.”
As a result, presidents often turn their attention to security matters, Coats said.
“I think Director Pompeo and I can certify the fact that we have spent far more hours in the Oval Office than we anticipated,” Coats said, adding that he expected to have brief meetings with the president a couple times a week but now spends as long as an hour with the president on a daily basis.