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Trump plans to cut staff at CIA headquarters

WASHINGTON/LONDON: US President-elect Donald Trump has planned to cut staff at CIA headquarters and restructure agency fearing that the intelligence community has become too politicised in the wake of alleged hacking of US election by Russia, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Upset by ‘politicised’ intelligence, Trump will be downsizing staff at the CIA’s headquarters and moving more agents to field posts, besides ‘streamlining’ the office of the Director of National Intelligence, the paper quoted an insider saying.

The claims follow CIA Director John Brennan’s announcement that the agency believes Russia hacked US systems to ensure a Trump presidency.

”The view from the Trump team is the intelligence world has become completely politicized,” the WSJ quoted a Trump staffer, speaking on condition of anonymity.

”They all need to be slimmed down. The focus will be on restructuring the agencies and how they interact.”

The sources that this meant to have more agents at field posts outside the country than at Langley, the CIA’s Virginia HQ.

Similar measures can be expected at the office of the Director of National Intelligence, the insider said.

Trump’s staff say that he has long been critical of the CIA, as he was vocal in 2002 and 2003 about the poor intelligence on weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq.

Trump has recently baffled and incensed the intelligence community with his behaviour, the WSJ reported.

Although various US intelligence agencies have hinted that Russia was behind hacks on the Democratic National Committee and Clinton aide John Podesta intended to help him take the presidency, Trump has vehemently turned down their claims.

On Wednesday, the latest swing at intelligence agencies came when Trump seized on Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s claim that Russia was not behind the attacks on the US, and that the country did not provide Wikileaks with thousands of hacked Democratic emails.

He tweeted: ”Julian Assange said ‘a 14 year old could have hacked Podesta’ – why was DNC so careless? Also said Russians did not give him the info!”

His previous tweet also suggested that intelligence agencies had failed to compile a proper case on the Russian hacks.

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