“The White House wants to pull a rabbit out of the hat, sources, methods and allies be damned,” Warner said in an interview Thursday.

Intelligence officials have told me they fear Ratcliffe was appointed DNI for a simple reason: Trump wanted a loyal supporter in charge of the spy agencies as the country headed toward Election Day. That’s the kind of raw self-interest the country has come to expect from Trump, but we don’t often assess the consequences for the intelligence community.

The ODNI structure has been enfeebled, according to four knowledgeable intelligence sources. The roughly 1,700 people who work there are “demoralized,” says one. The organization is being “hollowed out,” says a second, as senior employees quit and junior ones resist being sent there on temporary assignment from other agencies, such as the CIA. Analysts are “pulling their punches” for fear of offending the White House, says a third.