2017: A Spy Odyssey
Can Trump control the CIA?
January 25, 2017
“We were unbelievably successful in the election with getting the vote of the military. And probably almost everybody in this room voted for me, but I will not ask you to raise your hands if you did. But I would guarantee a big portion. Because we’re all on the same wavelength, folks. We’re all on the same wavelength, right? He knows. It took Brian about thirty seconds to figure that one out, right? Because we know. We’re on the same wavelength.”
“Who is Brian?” is an interesting question, but probably not the first one that came to those who heard Trump speak. Bear in mind, Trump faced possibly the most paranoid audience on earth—several hundred professional spies, saboteurs, and killers. These are people who second-guess every assumption and look for the hidden subtext in every word. And here was the president telling them he didn’t need a show of hands to see who supported him, because he already knew “almost” everyone there voted for him. Implicit in that formulation: he knew that some of the people in that room opposed him. He also made clear he knew some people there by name. Hi, Brian! Who is Brian?