On his first full day in office, President Donald Trump spoke at the Central Intelligence Agency’s headquarters, standing in front of the Agency’s memorial to its fallen officers, and sought to mend his tumultuous relationship with Langley. Yet he never said the word “sorry,” to federal intelligence agencies for the many times he’s berated them.
Trump has castigated both the CIA, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, over everything from their investigation into Hillary Clinton’s role in Benghazi and her private email server, to their inquiries into hacks on the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) emails. But in his speech, he sought to blame his rift with the intelligence community on the press, implying the conflict was simply the invention of a hostile media.
The speech started a little before 3:20 p.m., lasted about 20 minutes, and veered from topic to topic. Trump opened by saying he thought the intelligence community were “special, amazing people,” then lamented how the U.S. never won wars anymore (“When I was young we were always winning things in this country”); he brought up ISIS (“It has to be eradicated—off the face of the earth!”); he mentioned the numerous occasions on which he’s appeared on the cover of Time magazine (“I have been on that cover 14 or 15 times”). He seemed to spiral around why he had come, making political jabs at the media to mixed success.