Former CIA Analyst Reveals Why He Bailed on the Trump Administration After Less Than a Month
Ned Price never thought he'd leave the CIA. And then Donald Trump was elected president.
Price resigned just three weeks into the Trump administration, after serving under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
"This was not a decision I made lightly," Price wrote in a Washington Post op-ed published Monday. "I sought out the CIA as a college student, convinced that it was the ideal place to serve my country and put an otherwise abstract international relations degree to use. I wasn’t disappointed."
The following night, in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, he detailed his frustrations dating back to Trump's campaign.
"I saw a Republican nominee during a primetime debate just casually doubt the high-confidence assessment of all of our 17 intelligence agencies," Price recalled. "I saw a president-elect compare our intelligence community to Nazis. I heard him accuse the intelligence community of leaking."
But it was President Trump's narcissism and dishonesty that ultimately caused Price to throw in the towel. The former intelligence officer admits he was horrified to watch the president brag about the size of his inauguration crowd while standing before a CIA memorial, a spectacle for all the world to see.
"What was not public but what was clear to many of us was the ideology, and really the orthodoxy, that this administration has maintained," Price told Blitzer. "I did not feel that this administration would be open to the kind of candid assessments, the kind of frank reports and analysis that as a CIA analyst I would be charged with producing."
Despite having donated to Democratic candidates, Price attributed his decision not to politics, but to the already fraught relationship between the agency and the new administration.
"As an intelligence professional I have never spoken out about my personal views," he said.