China and Russian Federation pose the biggest risks to the United States, and are more aligned than they have been in decades as they target the 2020 presidential election and American institutions to expand their global reach, U.S. intelligence officials told senators on Tuesday.
On the Middle East, where the intelligence assessment undercut Trump's rationale for his order of a full withdrawal of US troops, the president pushed back again, saying ISIS "will soon be destroyed, unthinkable two years ago".
CIA Director Gina Haspel said "it is positive that we have managed to engage them in dialogue" but "ultimately the objective is to lessen that threat by getting them to declare that program and ultimately to dismantle that program". "And so, they are very much a part of what people are now calling the "deep state", the former Central Intelligence Agency analyst told RT.
Trump said the only thing holding Iran back is its "crashing" economy. He contended Iran was still testing "Rockets" and, added, "Be careful of Iran".
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday attacked the U.S. intelligence services as "naive" and "wrong" on the threat he says is posed by Iran.
North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui and U.S. Special Representative Stephen Biegun met on the outskirts of Stockholm last week.
"Now a whole different story".
Coats told the committee that Iran "is not now undertaking the key nuclear weapons-development activities".
His comments came in a morning Twitter tirade a day after leaders of the USA intelligence community contradicted his views on major foreign policy issues during their congressional testimony. On Syria, intelligence officials said the Islamic State would go on "to stoke violence" with thousands of fighters there and in Iraq, and with 12 networks around the world.
Trump has repeatedly said in recent months that Islamic State had been defeated, justifying his abrupt announcement in December that he would pull USA troops out of Syria.
Insisting that Iran's nuclear program remains unsafe, Trump said his intelligence advisors - who believe Tehran is largely abiding by an global commitment to shelve nuclear weapons ambitions - need to be more realistic.
Attacks meant to sway the outcome of the 2020 US Presidential election are probably already underway, according to the nation's head of intelligence.
Trump's comments came after a Tuesday hearing, during which CIA Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats-both appointed by the president-briefed senators on worldwide security threats facing the the nation. "They deserve a president's respect, not his/her public rebuke, which only serves to help our adversaries".
The CIA and the Director of National Intelligence office did not comment on Trump's remarks.
"More broadly, U.S. adversaries and strategic competitors nearly certainly will use online influence operations to try to weaken democratic institutions, undermine USA alliances and partnerships, and shape policy outcomes in the United States and elsewhere", Coats said in his remarks (PDF) to the bipartisan panel. "Please come back fast, we need you!"
The president has remained relatively under the radar since the end of the 35-day government shutdown last week.