Heinrich, Wyden Call For Intelligence Assessment Of Trump’s Latest North Korea Tweet

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) sent a letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats requesting that the Intelligence Community assess the risk to the United States and to U.S. interests and personnel arising from President Trump’s latest North Korea tweet.

“In particular, we request that the assessment address the likely North Korean response to the President’s January 2 tweet and the President’s other threatening tweets and statements, and whether this rhetoric serves as a deterrent or a provocation. We also ask the Intelligence Community to assess the impact of the president’s message on U.S. credibility and leadership with regard to our regional and international partners and allies,” wrote Heinrich and Wyden, both members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

In light of the current serious risk of conflict, including nuclear escalation with North Korea, the lawmakers believe the implications of the president’s recent communications are of particular interest and significance to the American people and the Intelligence Community’s assessment should be made public to the extent possible.

The full text of the letter is available here and below. 

The Honorable Daniel R. Coats
Director of National Intelligence
Washington, D.C. 20511 

Dear Director Coats:

We write to request that the Intelligence Community produce an assessment of the risk to the United States and to U.S. interests and personnel arising from the President’s tweet on January 2, 2018, in which he wrote the following:

“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”

In particular, we request that the assessment address the likely North Korean response to the President’s January 2 tweet and the President’s other threatening tweets and statements, and whether this rhetoric serves as a deterrent or a provocation. We also ask the Intelligence Community to assess the impact of the president’s message on U.S. credibility and leadership with regard to our regional and international partners and allies. 

The Intelligence Community regularly considers the national security implications of U.S. actions and the possible responses of foreign adversaries. In light of the current serious risk of conflict, including nuclear escalation with North Korea, the implications of the president’s recent communications are of particular interest and significance to the American people. We therefore further request that the assessment be public, to the extent possible. 

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,