United States intelligence assessments contradict Trump on North Korea, ISIS, and Iran

US President Donald Trump, left, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

In scathing tweets, the US President outlined the scale of the risk still posed by Tehran's nuclear ambitions and aggressive policies in the region.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday unleashed a stream of insults at the nation's intelligence officials after they published a report directly contradicting some of his most frequent false claims about foreign policy.

Trump also said that when he became president two years ago, Islamic State "was out of control in Syria & running rampant".

Trump added in a subsequent tweet that Iran is "a source of potential danger and conflict".

Under his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, Trump said, the "relationship was horrendous and very bad things were about to happen".

US President Donald Trump, left, and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un during a meeting a year ago.

On Tuesday, top intelligence officials described a different Iran than the president has, one that is not now trying to make a nuclear bomb and appears to be complying with a 2015 nuclear agreement, even after Trump promised past year to withdraw from it.

Trump's most important ally in the Senate, majority leader Mitch McConnell, warned of a "premature withdrawal" of USA troops from Afghanistan and Syria.

A few Republicans also joined Democrats on Wednesday to reintroduce a war powers resolution, which passed the Senate but not the House in December in the face of Trump's opposition, seeking to end any USA involvement in Yemen's civil war.

The bill also requires the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to jointly certify.to the relevant congressional committees. that South Korea is fully capable of defending itself and of deterring any military conflict on the Peninsula. that would threaten USA interests.

Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, had told lawmakers that North Korea's leaders "ultimately view nuclear weapons as critical to regime survival".

According to Coats, China and Russian Federation pose the greatest threats to the USA, though Iran and North Korea remain paramount concerns.

But in testimony to the Senate on Tuesday, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats offered a less optimistic view, noting that "ISIS still commands thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria ... and thousands of dispersed supporters around the world, despite significant leadership and territorial losses".

"I didn't see the report from the intelligence", Trump said, before curiously adding, "When you read it, it is a lot different than what is covered in the news". Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. "I think in those cases when it comes to their judgment, take into consideration what they're saying.I think we need to trust their judgment".

Although diplomacy between Trump and Kim halted its missile and nuclear tests, the United States still sees "indications" that he is "trying to navigate a path for some kind of better future" for the North Korean people.

He also said some United States allies are seeking more independence, responding to their perceptions of changing policies on security and trade and "are becoming more open" to new partnerships.

The US intelligence officials told the Senate Intelligence Committee that Iran was not developing nuclear weapons in violation of agreement.

  • Joey Payne