Former Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina recently broke her silence on President-elect Donald Trump’s feud with the U.S. intelligence community, implying Trump may have crossed a line.
During an interview with Van Jones on CNN, Fiorina said skepticism toward intelligence findings becomes a problem when it transforms into disparagement, which she said is “not healthy and not helpful.”
In the CNN segment, Fiorina did not mention Trump by name, though it was apparent he was the onus for the conversation. She echoed former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in drawing a line between doubt and derision.
“It’s one thing to be skeptical,” Fiorina said. “When [James] Clapper said skepticism is one thing and disparagement is another, I agreed with him.”
Fiorina pointed to the “conflicting evidence” allegedly present in intelligence reports, saying that it is important to question and verify the findings presented.
The former Hewlett-Packard CEO has something of a pedigree in the intelligence field, having served on the CIA’s External Advisory Board during the George W. Bush administration.
Her involvement began after 9/11 when Michael Hayden, then-director of the National Security Agency, asked Fiorina if her company could accommodate the agency’s newly expanded need for high-tech equipment, particularly servers.
Fiorina promptly responded, and her close relationship with Hayden led to her appointment to the advisory board five years later.
In December, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO met with the president-elect to discuss a possible role for her in Trump’s administration.
Fiorina was one of several former GOP presidential candidates to come to Trump Tower and meet with the president-elect. Former presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Rick Perry met with Trump that day, as well. Trump wound up nominating Perry to lead the Energy Department.
Speaking to the press directly after the meeting, Fiorina said, “We talked about hacking, whether it’s Chinese hacking or purported Russian hacking. We talked about the opportunity that the president-elect has to literally reset things, to reset the trajectory of this economy, to reset the role of government, to reset America’s role in the world and how we’re perceived in the world, and I think it’s why he’s getting such fantastic people in his administration.”
On Friday, Trump left some to wonder if he’d taken the conversation to heart, taking to Twitter to suggest that the intelligence community “probably” leaked recent reports against him “even knowing there is no proof.”
The president-elect, whose inauguration is but a week away, also promised an independent report “within 90 days.”
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