Yes, America Spies Really Think Trump is Putin’s Guy

The nominee’s Kremlin ties have become a scandal—and the GOP has nobody to blame but itself for this mess

In today’s New York Times, former Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Morell initiated a firestorm by strongly endorsing Hillary Clinton for president. His memorable op-ed didn’t simply back the Democrat, her own grave security lapses notwithstanding. Morell went further, tearing down her Republican opponent as “not only unqualified for the job, but he may well pose a threat to our national security… he would be a poor, even dangerous, commander in chief.”

Normally that would be sufficiently lethal coming from a former CIA director, but Morell kept going, castigating Donald Trump as a pawn of the Kremlin possessing overtly pro-Russian views. He minced no words: “In the intelligence business, we would say that Putin had recruited Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”

Uproar ensued at once, and the Trump campaign dismissed the allegation as absurd. Mike Pence, Trump’s vice presidential nominee, lambasted Morell’s former agency as “the same CIA that told the president that ISIS was the JV team”—which isn’t exactly a denial of Trump’s ties to the Kremlin.

Critics have countered that Morell is a Clinton operative, but the former spook boss claims to be politically independent. The only “evidence” he’s on Team Hillary is his current employment with a Washington strategic advisory firm with ties to members of the Clinton inner circle.

Before that, Morell spent 33 years at Langley as an intelligence analyst, winding up as the CIA’s deputy director in 2010. Before retiring in 2013, he served twice as the agency’s acting director, in 2011 and again in 2012-13, enjoying a good relationship with President Obama.

Read the rest at The Observer …