But ask military, intelligence, or law enforcement officers charged with defending the nation’s security what they think of Trump’s out-of-the-blue weekend tweets, and you get grimaces, shakes of the head, and even physical cringing. Verbal responses range from “I wish he would just stop” to “Not helping. Just… not… helping.”
Multiple national security professionals interviewed—both in the administration or in uniform—said they are also concerned over what they perceive as a lack of emotional and intellectual discipline they believe is behind the tweet rage.
“National security professionals value orderly process for decision making,” said Bruce Riedel, director of the Brookings Intelligence Project, and a former CIA officer. “They abhor unpredictable and rash impulses. Twitter temper tantrums undermine process and create wasteful distractions at best and unnecessary wars at worst.”
What Trump tweets is also the kind of information foreign intelligence agencies devote legions of spies to uncover. Now, there’s almost no need. Sign up for Twitter, and any user has a view into what the president is thinking, and feeling about an issue—that which is often hardest to gage for an intelligence officer.