Former CIA Director James Woolsey Leaves Trump Transition Team

James Woolsey, who served as director of the CIA under President Bill Clinton, confirmed on Thursday that he had left his role as an adviser to Donald Trump's transition team.

Woolsey told CNN Thursday night that because he has not been functioning as an adviser recently, he felt it was important to give an official update.

"I didn't want to fly under false colors. I’ve been an advisor and felt that I was making a contribution. And I strongly support Mr. Trump for president — did since early September. And I wish him well, but I’m not really functioning as an adviser anymore," he said.

As Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on United States intelligence officials' conclusion that Russian actors were behind the Democratic National Committee leaks, Woolsey has said that he believes the Russians were involved in the hack.

When asked by CNN's Erin Burnett on Thursday if he left the Trump team due to disagreements over Russia's involvement in the hacks, Woolsey said that it was not a factor.

However, the Washington Post reported Thursday night that Woolsey resigned due to Trump's view on U.S. intelligence agencies.

Per the Washington Post:

People close to Woolsey said that he had been excluded in recent weeks from discussions on intelligence matters with Trump and retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the incoming White House national security adviser. They said that Woolsey had grown increasingly uncomfortable lending his name and credibility to the transition team without being consulted. Woolsey was taken aback by this week’s reports that Trump is considering revamping the country’s intelligence framework, said these people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.
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