President Trump visited the CIA for the first time this weekend
Before his inauguration last week, the new US President has spent weeks in a spat with the intelligence and security agencies he now oversees.
The billionaire businessman was particularly critical of the CIA after the leak of the explosive “golden shower” allegations, accusing the spy service of being responsible for the controversial dossier going public.
But he has also pushed for greater ties with Russia – despite concerns the superstate is a dangerous aggressor and could be about to annexe the Baltic capitals in a similar move to Crimea.
Now US spies have revealed they are worried other countries will now hesitate to share information with the authorities in the US.
President Trump has been a vocal critic of the CIA
US spies worry other countries will now hesitate to share intel with them
A senior official from the administration of former President Barack Obama said: “If there’s a sense that we’re cozying up to regimes like Vladimir Putin’s Russia, that could have something of a chilling effect.
Despite being well known around the glove, US spy agencies actually rely a great deal on intelligence sharing deals with their foreign partners for everything from counter-terrorism to cybersecurity.
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These agreed relationships are considered vital in areas where language barrier come into play.
For example, gathering intel on what is happening in North Korea is much easier with the cooperation and help from South Korea’s intelligence sector.
But Donald Trump is renowned for his off-the-cuff comments – and security services say they are worried he could inadvertently release classified information – or accidentally offend another world leader.
There are also fears that, because Mr Trump is distrusting of his own country’s intelligence services, other states may also come to distrust their information – or feel it is not worth the effort to share information with US officials as they believe the president will ignore their advice.
The cIA came under fire after the leak of the explosive “golden shower” allegations
President Trump has pushed for greater ties with Russia and Putin
If there’s a sense that we’re cozying up to regimes like Vladimir Putin’s Russia, that could have something of a chilling effect.
Senior official from Obama’s administration
John Brennan, who submitted his resignation as CIA director this past week, said: “I think the world is watching now what Mr Trump says, and listening very carefully.
“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?”
While some have hinted there could be a shift in how intelligence sharing currently works, others claimed it was too soon to tell how Mr Trump will act as President.
A senior European security official said: “Most European services will be influenced in their approach by whatever assessment and reassurances their US counterparts give about the trustworthiness of the new administration.
“There is huge implicit trust between US and British agencies, for example, that will not be easily undermined even by the arrival of a new president with unknown qualities.”
Many of the US intelligence partners date back decades, such as its relationship with Britain – and Theresa May has vowed to continue and strengthen the UK’s special friendship with America.
The Prime Minister is due to visit the White House this Friday, making her the first foreign leader to pay a visit to the 45th US President.
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The two leaders are due to discuss the trading agreement between the US and the UK, as well as issues such as Syria and NATO.
However, British agencies are still questioning the President-elect’s loyalty, and are allegedly expected to retain information until they can be sure he is trustworthy.
A UK intelligence operative said: “Until we have established whether Trump and senior members of his team can be trusted, we’re going to hold back.
“Putting it bluntly, we can’t risk betraying sources and methods to the Russians.”