The Lawfare Podcast: Sue Gordon and John McLaughlin on Intelligence, Biden and Trump

Jen Patja Howell, David Priess, Sue Gordon, John McLaughlin
Monday, August 2, 2021, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
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The president's interactions with intelligence and public comments about intelligence are dramatically different in the first six months of the Biden administration than they were during the last presidency. To talk about those differences and why they matter for intelligence and national security, David Priess sat down with Sue Gordon and John McLaughlin. Sue Gordon, for two years during the Trump administration, was the principal deputy director of national intelligence, after decades of service at CIA and at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, or NGA. John McLaughlin served as the acting director of central intelligence during the Bush 43 administration, after a career as an analyst, manager and executive in the CIA.

They talked about the differences between the Trump administration and the Biden administration when it comes to intelligence focused on the presidents themselves. And they talked about President Biden's recent comments at Liberty Crossing in McLean, Virginia, the home of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the National Counterterrorism Center, what he said and what he didn't say, and what it all reveals about intelligence and policymaking in the Biden years.

Jen Patja Howell is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
David Priess is Director of Intelligence at Bedrock Learning, Inc. and a Senior Fellow at the Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security. He served during the Clinton and Bush 43 administrations as a CIA officer and has written two books: “The President’s Book of Secrets,” about the top-secret President’s Daily Brief, and "How To Get Rid of a President," describing the ways American presidents have left office.
Susan Gordon served as Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence until August 15, 2019. Prior to assuming that role, she was the Deputy Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
John McLaughlin served as acting Director of Central Intelligence and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence during the George W. Bush presidency, after a career as an analyst, manager, and executive in the CIA. He is now the Distinguished Practitioner in Residence in the Merrill Center for Strategic Studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of Johns Hopkins University.

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