Tags: Russia Probe | robert gates | deep state | would leak | in dc | mueller | integrity and character

Robert Gates: 'Deep State' Cannot Last Because All of DC 'Leaks'

(NBC's "Meet the Press")

By    |   Sunday, 28 January 2018 10:49 AM

A former U.S. intelligence chief – and a nonpartisan Secretary of Defense for presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama – Robert Gates laughed at the staying power of a "deep state" in Washington's underpinnings, saying it could not last because "everybody in this town leaks."

"So I, as the director and deputy director of CIA, let's just say I was exposed to more than a few conspiracy theories over the years – and the one reasons I always told people 'conspiracies could never succeed in Washington,' is because everybody in this town leaks," Gates told NBC's "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd.

"I mean, the idea that you could have some kind of a cabal to organize or control the government in some way and have it not leak or somebody go sell the story to a magazine or to a book publisher doesn't comport with reality."

Gates was pressed by Todd on the "deep state" amid the White House and GOP questioning the partisanship of top FBI and intelligence officials left over from the Obama administration Gates once worked for. Gates, however, did not deny shortcomings of U.S. intelligence.

"The reality is the intelligence folks do get it wrong some times," Gates admitted to Todd. "They did get it wrong with weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The interesting thing that people don't pay much attention to is every other intelligence service in the world got it wrong also."

Gates stressed intelligence, FBI, and government officials need to be aware they are working for the United States and are not political operatives.

"People who have been in these positions, and I would include retired military, need to be very careful in terms of political commentary that is aimed at one side or the other," Gates said. "Because for the most part, we're not there because of just being a person. We're there because we had a title in front of us.

"And you have to be mindful of the fact that you can be looked upon as representing that institution, not just yourself. So I think people who have occupied senior positions in the intelligence community, in the military and others, need to be very cautious about getting involved in the political process."

Doing so gets us to where we are today with the Trump administration and Republicans decrying partisan attacks attempting to damage the White House.

"If you have a rotten apple, you have somebody go rogue on you, it can obviously do real damage, and it takes a long time to repair that, so that's why internal discipline is so important inside these agencies," Gates said. "If they go rogue themselves outside of the discipline and the order of the committee, then that creates a problem both for the agencies but also in terms of the credibility of the Congress."

Gates concluded with support for FBI special counsel Robert Mueller, despite admitting the FBI is under the president's executive branch and therefore serving the administration. Congress and the legislative branch cannot dictate presidential will, but can impose a "political cost" for any firing of the special counsel.

"The Bob Mueller I know is a man of extraordinary integrity and character, and I can't think of anybody who would do a more honest and standup job of conducting an investigation," Gates said, before adding some might wind up disappointed with the investigation's findings.

"You know, people need to be prepared – people are assuming he's going to come to one conclusion – people need to be prepared that a guy like Bob Mueller may come to a different conclusion that will elate some people and anger some people," Gates said. "But I think I have total confidence in him."

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A former U.S. intelligence chief - and a nonpartisan Secretary of Defense for presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama - Robert Gates laughed at the staying power of a "deep state" in Washington's underpinnings, saying it could not last because "everybody in this town...
robert gates, deep state, would leak, in dc, mueller, integrity and character
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2018-49-28
Sunday, 28 January 2018 10:49 AM
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