Speaking before a crowd of 300 people at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., on Saturday, President Donald Trump told the agents and employees there, "I love you, I respect you, there's nobody I respect more. We're going to start winning again, and you will be leading the charge."
The decision to go to Langley as one of his first acts as president is reputed to be a way to mend fences between the new Trump administration and the intelligence community, which the CIA is an important part of.
Trump came under fire from both Republican and Democrat lawmakers after a public disagreement over the intelligence report produced by the agency that indicated Russian hacking of the 2016 election occurred and was intended to help Trump win. Despite the public feud and the report, most Americans did not believe that Russian hacking had any effect on the results of the election.
Trump publicly disputed the report before begrudgingly accepting it, and has noted since then his dissatisfaction with the politicization of the intelligence community. His trip to CIA headquarters Saturday is rumored to be an attempt to heal the wounds of that rift.
Trump also excoriated the media while at Langley, referring to them using his now-frequent descriptor for the press: "dishonest."
It would appear that Trump is now prepared to offer an olive branch to the intelligence community, if not the media, which is a sharp departure from just a week ago when Trump took to Twitter to criticize outgoing CIA Director John Brennan for his request that the new president show some confidence and appreciation for the intelligence community.
It was recently reported that six intelligence agencies — including the CIA and the FBI — had been investigating Trump since Spring 2016 to determine if there was evidence of Russian interference in the election to help Trump win, specifically who might financing such an effort.
According to the CIA, the aggregate intelligence budget was $26.6 billion in fiscal year 1997 and $26.7 billion for fiscal year 1998. For all other years, budget information remains classified.