According to Talking Points Memo, President Donald Trump’s brief visit to the CIA on Saturday was meant soothe the intelligence community’s anxiety over the new president’s incoming administration. During Trump’s campaign, he regularly questioned the intelligence community, pointing out their role in the war with Iraq and even compared the recent release of a Russian dossier to Nazi Germany.
“The wall behind me is very, very special,” Trump said in reference to the memorial honoring CIA service. “Very few people can do the job you people do,” he continued.
In the video of Trump’s visit, applause and cheers can be heard during certain points of the speech, but according to a pool report, Trump’s administration brought along supporters to cheer him on.
Several intelligence officials told news sources, including CBS, that even though the visit was supposed to smooth over the relation between the two, the speech was “uncomfortable” and may have even made things worse between the president and the agency. According to the source, Trump supporters stayed in front of the room so they can be heard. “An official with knowledge of the make-up of the crowd says that there were about 40 people who’d been invited by the Trump, Mike Pence and Rep. Mike Pompeo teams,” CBS reports.