Trump Considering Private Network Of Spies To Surveil His ‘Enemies’: Report
President Donald Trump is considering creating a private network of spies that would circumvent official U.S. intelligence agencies and would be controlled directly by Trump and his CIA chief Mike Pompeo, according to a report published by The Intercept.
Citing several current and former U.S. intelligence officials and others familiar with the proposals, The Intercept reports that the plans have been pitched to the White House as a means of countering “deep state” enemies in the intelligence community seeking to undermine Trump’s presidency.
The alleged proposal comes in part from Blackwater founder Erik Prince and would be separate from existing intelligence agencies in order to counteract the supposed “deep state” in the national security apparatus that is opposed to the commander-in-chief, sources told The Intercept.
Prince’s Blackwater previously provided privately contracted soldiers to the U.S., though scandal over operations that included civilian deaths in Iraq has led him to rebrand the venture and begin working with powers such as China and the United Arab Emirates.
Beyond his work with the government during the George W. Bush administration, Prince has ties to Team Trump, and is the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
The Washington Post reported earlier this year that Prince had traveled to an Indian Ocean getaway in the Seychelles to meet with Abu Dhabi crown prince Mohammad bin Zayed and an associate of Vladimir Putin as an unofficial representative of the Trump transition.
Prince denied acting in any way for the Trump camp or setting up a backchannel method of communication between the future President and the Kremlin.