U.S. Intelligence | KNKX

U.S. Intelligence

Liam James Doyle / NPR

Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire is testifying before the House intelligence committee about a whistleblower complaint reportedly connected to President Trump's communication with Ukraine's president. Lawmakers have demanded to see the complaint, which had been withheld.

This week's spectacle over the leadership of the FBI got all the headlines, but there's always a lot more taking place beneath the surface in the shadowy world of the intelligence community, or "IC."

The U.S. Treasury Department has modified sanctions against Russia, allowing U.S. companies to interact with Russia's domestic intelligence agency, the FSB.

The sanctions were imposed by the Obama administration on Dec. 29 in the wake of Russia's meddling in the U.S. presidential campaign, and were meant to deprive the FSB of access to some technologies.

There's a new narrative solidifying in Washington: President-elect Donald Trump distrusts the U.S. intelligence community because it's been sounding the alarm on Russia's interference in the November election. In turn, this feeds a growing sense of dread among U.S. intelligence professionals that the president-elect and his inner circle will ignore or undermine the intelligence community at every opportunity.

American intelligence officers are trained to tackle tough targets.

But there are tough targets, and then there's Russian President Vladimir Putin, who plays his cards so closely that it's hard for his own advisers to divine what he's thinking, says Gregory Treverton, chairman of the National Intelligence Council.