Tags: Donald Trump | James Woolsey | ex-CIA | transition | adviser

Ex-CIA Director James Woolsey Quits as Trump Adviser

Ex-CIA Director James Woolsey Quits as Trump Adviser

James Woolsey (AP Photo)

By    |   Thursday, 05 January 2017 07:37 PM

Former CIA Director James Woolsey said Thursday he had cut ties with President-elect Donald Trump because "I'm not really functioning as an adviser anymore."

"I didn't want to fly under false colors," Woolsey, 75, who was advising Trump on national security issues, told Erin Burnett on CNN. "I've been an adviser — and felt like I was making a contribution.

"I strongly support Mr. Trump for president, did since early September, and I wish him well.

"But I'm not really functioning as an adviser anymore," Woolsey added. "And so when I'm on the screen, everybody announces that I'm former CIA director, and that I'm a Trump adviser — and I'm really not anymore.

"So, I just thought I should strike that from the chryon or as it comes up on the screen so nobody was under false impressions," he said. "That's all."

However, The Washington Post reported Thursday that Woolsey quit after being cut out of intelligence talks with the president elect and National Security Adviser Ret. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

Woolsey has served four presidents in various roles: Republicans Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, and Democrats Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. He led the CIA under Clinton.

Burnett did not ask Woolsey about The Post's report, but he did say "I don't think there was a particular point" when he had stopped advising Trump.

"I've only seen him in person a couple of times," he added. "Talked with him on the phone a little bit.

"So, I was not at the center of the advisory function.

"I was pleased to be included," Woolsey said. "But I didn't want to be claiming that I'm something I'm not."

This week, Woolsey came under fire after implying to CNN that Trump could be "playing us" with regard to what he knows about Russia's role in Russian hacks of the Democratic National Committee and other party operatives.

"There's a possibility that he is [playing us] a little bit," Woolsey told Jim Sciutto on Monday.

He was referring to Trump's statement at a New Year's Eve party at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida on Saturday that he would reveal what he knows about the hacking on "Tuesday or Wednesday" of this week.

Trump is expected to briefed Friday by U.S. intelligence officials on Russian breaches of the Democratic National Committee and other party operatives.

"Why not?" Woolsey asked Sciutto. "[Trump] is not interfering with anything. He's not talking about anything classified.

"This is a behavioral mode that he has perfected," he said. "He has a point, which is that it is entirely possible to have various definitions of hacking."

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Former CIA Director James Woolsey has severed ties with President-elect Donald Trump effective immediately, according to a statement released Thursday.
James Woolsey, ex-CIA, transition, adviser
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2017-37-05
Thursday, 05 January 2017 07:37 PM
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