US President Donald Trump on Sunday disputed American intelligence services’ assessments of the threat posed by Iran and said he “does not necessarily agree” with their analysis.
He also said the national security advisers’ false assessment on Iraq led the US to engage in a war that it should never have been.
The US’ intelligence services had said that the then Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction that became the basis of American invasion in the middle east nation. However, the assessment was later proven wrong.
“I have intel people, but that does not mean I have to agree (with their assessments)…people that said Saddam Hussein…in Iraq had nuclear weapons…Those intel people didn’t know what the hell they were doing, and they got us tied up in a war that we should have never been in,” Trump told CBS News in an interview.
As a result of that intelligence assessment under the Bush administration, Trump said the US spent $7 trillion in the Middle East and lost hundreds of lives.
Trump said he disagrees with the assessment of his intelligence leaders that Iran is abiding by the nuclear deal. He claimed that Iran is going ahead with its nuclear weapons programme.
“When I look at Iran, I look at it as a nation that has caused tremendous problems,” he said.
During a Congressional hearing last week, top American spymasters Dan Coats, National Intelligence Director, and Gina Haspel, CIA Director, told lawmakers that Iran was abiding by the nuclear deal.
Trump also indicated that he is not in sync with the assessment of his intelligence chief on the nuclear weapons programme of North Korea.
Asserting that there has been a tremendous progress in the ties between the US and the North Korea, Trump said both he and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are looking forward to the scheduled meeting between them, the exact date and venue of which will be announced in the next few days.
“He (Kim) is looking forward to it. I am looking forward to it. We have made tremendous progress…(Kim) has a chance to have North Korea becoming an economic behemoth. (North Korea) has a chance to be one of the great economic countries in the world. He (Kim) can’t do that with nuclear weapons,” he said.