Low morale in intelligence community amid public criticism from Donald Trump

WASHINGTON -- Top intelligence officials believe that President-elect Donald Trump’s critical tweets and public statements are having an impact on the workforce.

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Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper suggested at Thursday’s Senate hearing that the public criticism was hurting morale.

“We haven’t done a climate survey, but I hardly think it helps,” Clapper said, responding to a question about morale from New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich.

In fact, intelligence officials say the tension is palpable as Trump prepares to receive the Russia hacking report from Clapper and the heads of the CIA, NSA and FBI.

Also Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden was asked by the “PBS News Hour” about the president-elect’s criticism of the intelligence community.

“For a president not to have confidence in, not to be prepared to listen to, the myriad of intelligence agencies, from defense intelligence to the CIA, et cetera, is absolutely mindless,” Biden said.

The spy agencies are preparing for next week’s public release of the report, but right now, the intelligence leaders care about the reaction of just one man -- President-elect Trump.