White House considering giving Trump more raw intel, avoiding expert analysis

But the review was recalibrated after Dan Coats — who was confirmed earlier this month as Trump’s intelligence director — vigorously complained about being undermined in the midst of his confirmation hearings, according to U.S. officials. Coats is now leading the review, though it does not include potentially scrapping the office he now runs, according to the officials.

“This is going to be more on the ‘trim and optimize’ as opposed to ‘dismantle,'” said L. Roger Mason Jr., an executive with the nonprofit Noblis and a member of the Trump transition team that focused on the national intelligence directorate.

Trump’s White House has looked for other ways seize the reins.

Officials have expressed an interest in having more raw intelligence sent to the president for his daily briefings instead of an analysis of information compiled by the agencies, according to current and former U.S. officials. The change would have given his White House advisers more control about the assessments given to him and sidelined some of the conclusions made by intelligence professionals.

One official said the focus on accessing more raw intelligence appeared to be more of a priority under the short tenure of Michael Flynn, who was ousted as national security adviser after less than one month on the job. He was replaced by H.R. McMaster, an Army lieutenant general who was expected to exert more control over the NSC but has found himself struggling to overcome skepticism among Flynn holdovers who have the ear of Bannon.