President Trump will travel to the Langley, Va., headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency on Saturday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.
In a tweet, Spicer said that Trump would meet with more than 300 staffers and that the new President is “excited to thank the men and women of the intelligence community.”
Trump’s visit comes after weeks of acrimony between Trump and the intelligence community over the investigation into Russian hacking during the 2016 election. Trump repeatedly refused to accept intelligence assessments that Russia was behind the hacking, before doing an about-face at a news conference just days before taking the oath of office. Trump’s frustration with the intelligence community boiled over after he and then-President Barack Obama were briefed on an unsubstantiated dossier prepared by a former British intelligence officer, which alleged Trump had been compromised by the Russian government.
In his news conference on Jan. 11, Trump accused the intelligence community of leaking the information. “That’s something that Nazi Germany would have done and did,” he said. CIA Director John Brennan fired back at Trump, telling Fox News, “If he doesn’t have confidence in the intelligence community, what signal does that send to our partners and allies, as well as our adversaries?”
Trump’s visit is an apparent attempt to try to rebuild his relationship with the intelligence agency, as his hand-picked leader prepares to take over. Trump’s nominee to be the Director of Central Intelligence, Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo, is set to be confirmed on Monday, after Democrats refused to vote on his nomination Friday.
It was not immediately clear whether Trump would also receive an intelligence briefing while at CIA headquarters. Trump will be joined there by Pompeo and Mike Flynn, his National Security Adviser.