Wire Tapping, Trump Decision Making, and Our Greatest Threats

Last week Leading Authorities hosted a small client dinner with chief association executives and the former deputy and acting director of the CIA Michael Morrell. It was one of the best presentations my team has seen—an honest conversation about the state of our union and how the rest of the world views America.

Michael was one of the intelligence officials who broke the news of 9/11 to President Bush in Florida; he was also by President Obama’s side in the Situation Room during the Bin Laden raid.
Over dinner, Michael opened with a few funny stories from his time at the CIA and mused that he’s spent 30 years of his life analyzing other countries and their leaders but for the past 5 months he’s been focused on this country and our new leader. Then he quickly got into some of the biggest headlines of recent weeks, sharing with us why President Trump’s accusations of wire tapping are “very unlikely,” explaining the cyber issues around the latest Wikileaks, and outlining the biggest threats facing the US today (spoiler alert: Russia, Iran, N. Korea.)

Morell’s ability to speak candidly and incorporate his personal stories had everyone at the table leaned into the conversation –hanging on his every word. There was a flurry of questions for Michael ranging from “what are America’s options for dealing with a threatening North Korea” to “what advice will President Trump listen to and be responsive to?” His answers were like a masters class in diplomacy, intelligence, and executive management.

As the evening went on, Morell described the three “centers of gravity” surrounding the Trump decision making matrix – something I’ve yet to hear from any other speaker, political operative or pundit. He outlined the philosophical differences between the Bannon camp, Republican conservatives, and Trump himself, explaining how our relationship with Russia, America’s stance on Trade, and major policy decisions could be different based on who has the greatest gravitation pull on each issue.

All of the participants were captivated with Michael’s insights and left with a new framework for deciphering the Trump Administration. A little smarter, a little more anxious, and with a great appreciation for the people who work in the shadows to keep us all safe.

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