US President Donald Trump plans to assign an ally to lead a broad review of American intelligence agencies, according to administration officials, an effort that members of the intelligence community fear could curtail their independence.
Stephen A. Feinberg, a co-founder of Cerberus Capital Management, has informed his company’s shareholders that he was considering a move to join the Trump administration, the New York Times reported.
On Wednesday, Trump blamed leaks from the intelligence community for the departure of Michael T. Flynn, his national security adviser, whose resignation he requested.
“From intelligence, papers are being leaked, things are being leaked. It’s criminal action. It’s a criminal act, and it’s been going on for a long time before me, but now it’s really going on,” Trump said.
“The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by ‘intelligence’ like candy. Very un-American!”
There has been no announcement of Feinberg’s job, which would be based in the White House. He is a member of Trump’s economic advisory council.
Feinberg, who has close ties to Stephen K. Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, and Jared Kushner, the President’s son-in-law, declined to comment on his possible position.
Top intelligence officials told the daily that they feared the businessman was being prepped for a position within the intelligence community.
Feinberg’s only national security experience stems from his company’s involvement with a private security company and two gun makers.