The preparations for Donald Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20 have been loaded with surprises, and their controversies are on track to make it one of the most unconventional transitions in the history of the United States. Normally, the election resolves all previous controversies typical of such a personal campaign, and all conflict, like in sports, is forgotten so that the outgoing president and the president-elect can both maintain their inherent dignity. This time, not only have the disputes not been put aside, but also, in some cases, they have intensified, which is what happened with the official report regarding the interference of Russian spies in the election campaign.
Yesterday, Trump received information directly from the main U.S. intelligence and security agencies, a meeting which was called to re-establish order after a few hectic days. The president-elect's style is disconcerting and is still full of the many tics—and abundant tweets—from his months as an anti-establishment candidate. The aforementioned agencies—the National Security Agency, the FBI and the CIA—investigated allegations that Russia hacked Republicans and Democrats, and filtered documents to WikiLeaks, aiming to favor the Republican candidate. According to recordings obtained by these agencies, whose directors first shared the information with the U.S. president and the Senate, and then yesterday with Trump, Russia celebrated Trump’s election as a success.
Far from acting with caution while waiting to be informed, Trump chose to question the competence of the intelligence agencies and attributed their findings to the frenzy provoked by his election to the White House. Trump implicitly degraded the authority of these fundamental organizations that serve to protect American citizens and showed a glimpse of his low opinion of them. As is becoming habitual, Trump's team attributed the criticism to a "healthy skepticism" of their boss.
That a power like Russia has interfered in the election process of the United States is an issue that should worry the future president. The agencies' reports concluded that the Russian cyberspying was not a determining factor in voting, nor with respect to the election cycle, but concluded it did exist, and at a higher level than these agencies considered normal. It is surprising that Trump would cast doubt on the organizations that are pillars of national security in order to maintain a friendly tone with President Vladimir Putin (if the conclusions from the U.S. organizations are true, it wouldn't be difficult to think that Putin had authorized a similar operation that caused the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats).
In two weeks, when he will have his team in charge of these agencies, President Donald Trump will have to make important decisions regarding foreign policy by drawing from data, information and analyses that the FBI, the CIA or the NSA director leaves on his table in the Oval Office. The disdain, amid the irony and contempt, shown by Trump in this Russian cyberspying episode only weakens U.S. prestige in the world. To say that these organizations act carelessly or for electoral purposes is to not simply undermine the legitimacy and morals of their work in the United States... but also in the rest of the world.