Donald Trump didn't even understand, right, that [Vladimir] Putin was playing him. So, in Putin's mind, I have no doubt that Putin thinks that he's an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation, although Putin would never say that.— Michael Morell
The most jittery Michael Morell quotes that will be huge advantage for your personal development
[Hillary Clinton] never misused [ information that the Central Intelligence Agency has]. She always protected it. I would trust her with the crown jewels of the United States government. And, more importantly, I would trust her with the future security of the country and the future security of my kids.
I want the vetting to be solid. But I also want to bring these people in because not bringing them in sends a message, right, to the Muslim world and plays into the ISIS narrative and the Al Qaeda narrative, right, that this is a war between religions. And we can't have that.
Look at it from [Vladimir] Putin's perspective, right.
He's a trained intelligence officer, worked for the KGB, very talented, manipulated people much smarter than Donald Trump. He played this perfectly, right. He saw that Donald Trump wanted to be complimented.
The thing we've learned from the last 20 years of counterterrorism is the significant value you get from removing leadership from the battlefield in degrading the organization.
If you were watching CNN, they were saying the NSA is listening to your phone calls. It's reading your emails. When you call your grandma in Arkansas, the NSA knows. All total bulls - t. They made the public more concerned about the privacy issue than the legitimate facts should have done.
ISIS went to school on how we were collecting intelligence on terrorist organizations by using telecommunications technologies. And when they learned that from the [Edward] Snowden disclosures, they were able to adapt to it and essentially go silent.
I'm concerned, too, about ISIS' ability, right, to infiltrate people.
But we have got some very effective, robust processes for vetting people. We brought in thousands of Iraqi refugees after the Iraq War. Not a single one has ever turned out to be a terrorist because the vetting was so good.
What I want you to know is that 'Zero Dark Thirty' is a dramatization, not a realistic portrayal of the facts.
Companies made these decisions about encryption when they were finding it very difficult to sell their products overseas because the [Edward] Snowden disclosures created the impression that the U.S. government was inside this hardware and software produced by them. They needed to do something to deal with the perception.
One of the lessons we've learned from the last 25 years of terrorism is that groups that have safe havens are able to develop external attack capabilities in a way that groups that don't have safe havens are not. So we need to find a way to squeeze them significantly in their safe haven. Taking away territory that really matters to them is really, really important because it prevents them from focusing on external attacks.
The [Edward] Snowden disclosures created this perception that people's privacy was being put at significant risk.
I worked with [Hillary Clinton] for four years very closely when she was secretary of state and I was at the CIA. I provided her - personally provided her some of the most sensitive information that the Central Intelligence Agency has.
From Mr. [Donald] Trump's perspective, right, he simply heard [Vladimir] Putin compliment him. He then responded by complimenting him. He never thought that he might be being played.
[Vladimir Putin] complimented him. That led Donald Trump to then compliment Vladimir Putin and to defend Vladimir Putin's actions in a number of places around the world.
Intelligence officers are supposed to put the facts on the table and really walk away from the policy discussion.
One great lesson from history we need to keep on re-learning.
It is that sometimes your adversaries tell you exactly what they're going to do. How many times did [Osama] bin Laden say prior to 9/11 that he was coming after the U.S.? ISIS made clear that when they established their caliphate in Iraq and Syria, they were coming after the United States too.
Do I believe Edward Snowden contributed to the rise of ISIS? Yes.
Would they have gotten there without the help he provided them? Probably. Would they have been able to conduct this attack in Paris without him? Maybe. So the honest answer is I don't know.
As far as Paris goes, we don't know for sure yet how these guys communicate among themselves and how they communicated back to the ISIS leadership in Iraq and Syria, but I'm fairly confident we're going to learn they used these encrypted communication applications that have commercial encryption and are extremely difficult for companies to break - and which the companies have made the decision not to produce a key for.
As the briefer, my job is to carry CIA`s best information and best analysis to the president of the United States and make sure he understands it.
You have to have a military and intelligence approach to removing leadership that results in rapid frequent removals from the battlefield. It's got to be one, two a week, not just one or two every three or four months.
The one thing that struck me right off the bat was what Donald Trump said about Benghazi.There is this view out there that [Hillary Clinton] lied about what caused the attack, that she said it was the video.