WASHINGTON DC, The United States – Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe said US President Donald Trump relied more on Russian leader Vladimir Putin than on his own intelligence reports on North Korea’s missiles. This was commented on by political analyst Yevgeny Ben.
During an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes program, the former US intelligence official, fired in March 2018, said Trump did not believe in US intelligence, which informed him about the North Korean ballistic missile’s ability to hit the coast of the United States, because Russian leader Vladimir Putin had assured him that North Korea did not possess such weapons.
“The president— launched into— several unrelated diatribes. One of those was commenting on the recent missile launches by the government of North Korea. And, essentially, the president said he did not believe that the North Koreans had the capability to hit us here with ballistic missiles in the United States. And he did not believe that because President Putin had told him they did not. President Putin had told him that the North Koreans don’t actually have those missiles,” McCabe argued.
“I don’t care. I believe Putin,” McCabe quoted what Trump said about the US intelligence report.
The former FBI official added that “Intelligence officials in the briefing responded that that was not consistent with any of the intelligence our government possesses,” McCabe said, adding that he was shocked by the president’s comment.
Russian political analyst Yevgeny Ben commented that the situation described is plausible.
“Trump and Putin had only a few high-level meetings, so they looked and listened intently to each other. It’s hard to imagine that, having such a limited amount of time, the two leaders were not sincere enough. Trump also assumes that Russia, like other major countries, has no interest in having intercontinental North Korean ballistic missiles,” he said.
For Ben, “Trump understands that Russia, more than other countries, may have a better understanding of the scientific and technological potential of North Korea. Thus, it can be concluded that, in principle, despite confrontational situations, despite some escalation of tension, Putin’s point of view, his analysis of the situation, arouses interest and deserves attention in the eyes of US President Donald Trump,”concluded the analyst.
In January, Reuters quoted a report that North Korea’s Sino-ri missile base was supposed to serve to develop ballistic missiles capable of reaching other countries, despite Pyongyang’s pledge to work towards the complete denuclearization of the peninsula a goal that had been established during the summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore in June 2018.