" … how tenable is this for Trump? How long can he go on questioning the information he receives from intelligence briefings, as he seems intent upon doing?" Washpost
Wait for it! The answer to the question is – indefinitely. I would think that the Trump Administration will go through the ranks of the SES/SIS position holders at CIA/DIA/NSA, etc. like a scythe. These folks, of whom I was one (SES-4) are not career protected like the lower members of the federal civil service. In return for their elevated rank (equivalent to military flag officers) they lack actual legal job security and can be much more easily removed. They are usually highly politicized schemers and enablers for their presidential appointee bosses at the very top of the food chain. But who will run things!? Well, pilgrims there are lots of eager beaver GS-15s awaiting their turn and eager to prove their loyally to the administration.
Hey, why not ? Payback is a bitch and people like Clapper and Brennan could not have staged this intelligence "coup" without the cooperation of the SES corps.
And then there is the little matter of the chain of command in the federal government. NEWS FLASH!! The IC agencies work for the president. He does not work for them. If he does not accept their analysis – so be it! They are not semi-divine creatures endowed with some special gift of understanding the world, Well, some are, but not many.
Any intelligence is destined to support decision making for policy. It should NEVER be prescriptive. The news idiots keep asking old intelligence hands what policy should be… What a sad joke.
For Trump, the IC is just another consultant group. pl