Officials in US President Donald Trump's administration have reportedly asked the intelligence community to provide "raw intelligence reports" for his daily briefings and less analysis compiled by the agencies, current and former officials told Associated Press.
According to one official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the focus to access raw intelligence was a priority under former national security adviser Michael Flynn. He was replaced by Army Lieutenant General HR McMaster, who is said to have pushed for more control on the National Security Council (NSC).
The move would give White House officials more control on assessments provided to the president and could sidetrack some of the conclusions of the intelligence community.
Earlier, CIA leaders had voiced their concerns to McMaster about one of the intelligence directors on the Security Council, Ezra Cohen-Watnick. When the national security adviser tried to replace him, Cohen-Watnick appealed to senior Trump adviser Jared Kushner and chief strategist Steve Bannon, who reportedly got the president involved to save his job.
Cohen-Watnick was identified by the New York Times as one of the two staffers from the White House who had allegedly helped House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes access secret reports.
However, a US official denied the report and said that that although Cohen-Watnick had access to that kind of intelligence material, he did not help Nunes obtain the documents.
Adam Schiff, a ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, told The Hill in January, "The risk is that you request raw data to support a conclusion and you avoid seeing anything that contradicts it.
"We can already see we have a president-elect who has difficulty with facts that are at odds with the narrative that he wants to tell or diminish his achievements."
According to critics, the George W Bush administration's assessment on Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction was incorrect and was the result of officials sidestepping intelligence analysts and using raw data to find the conclusion they wanted.