Original version in Spanish: Las relaciones de la Comunidad de Inteligencia de EEUU con sus presidentes y con la Administración Trump


Intelligence is the main response to the risks and threats facing the national security of a country. The relationship of the intelligence community with decision-makers is the key to the correct way for undertaking intelligence work. In the US case the relationship between the producers and consumers of security is not immune to polemic and throughout history a number of conflicts have developed between the US intelligence community and the White House.

This working paper analyses the historical evolution of the US intelligence community (also referred to in this paper simply as the ‘Community’), including its structures and its products. Technology and covert operations have been the driving forces in the Community’s evolution, which has been tremendously divided since its inception and has moved progressively towards its own centralisation with the aim of improving coordination and efficacy. This paper also analyses the interaction between different Presidents and the Community, especially the latter’s relationship with the current President, Donald Trump.

Very often we were critical of what we were getting,
but we weren’t very clear in demanding what we needed.’
—Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski

Gustavo Díaz Matey
PhD, Adjunct Professor at Madrid’s Complutense University (UCM) and Intelligence Manager at ICEX, the Spanish Board of Foreign Trade and Investment (ICEX España Exportación e Inversiones)

National Security Operations Center floor in 2012. Photo: National Security Agency, public domain