President Donald Trump and his administration might be considering the idea of instituting a secret, global spy network that would collect intelligence and run covert operations to combat “deep state” enemies, according to new reports.
Both The Intercept and BuzzFeed News reported this week about the President’s possible consideration of such a program, whose aim would be to counter “deep state” enemies in the intelligence community that might want to undermine the President.
White House and National Security Council (NSC) officials are denying the proposal.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Tuesday said she isn’t aware of any plans to set up a private spy network.
“I haven’t asked [the President], but it’s not something that’s currently in the works,” Sanders said during a press briefing.
And, NSC Spokesman Michael Anton wrote in an email to The Intercept that he could “find no evidence that this ever came to the attention of anyone at the NSC or [White House] at all. […] The White House does not and would not support such a proposal.”
Both The Intercept and BuzzFeed cited anonymous intelligence officials who claim to have knowledge of proposals for such a plan.
The secret spy network would reportedly supply CIA Director Mike Pompeo with additional information to avoid any biases against the President, The Intercept reported.
“The proposals would utilize an army of spies with no official cover in several countries deemed ‘denied areas’ for current American intelligence personnel, including North Korea and Iran. The White House has also considered creating a new global rendition unit meant to capture terrorist suspects around the world, as well as a propaganda campaign in the Middle East and Europe to combat Islamic extremism and Iran,” The Intercept reported.
The proposal is reportedly the idea of Blackwater founder Erik Prince and political commentator Oliver North.
The Intercept also reported:
At the heart of the scheme being considered by the White House are Blackwater founder Erik Prince and his longtime associate, CIA veteran John Maguire, who currently works for the intelligence contractor Amyntor Group. Maguire also served on Trump’s transition team. Amyntor’s role was first reported by BuzzFeed News.
One of the proposals would involve hiring a private company, Amyntor Group, for millions of dollars to set up a large intelligence network and run counterterrorist propaganda efforts, according to the sources. Amyntor’s officials and employees include veterans of a variety of US covert operations, ranging from the Reagan-era Iran–Contra affair to more recent actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. […]
Among the management of Amyntor is John Maguire, a former CIA case officer who reportedly led a US effort to provoke Saddam Hussein into war before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.