MISSED OPPORTUNITY

Ex-NSA Boss Mike Rogers: I Wish Trump Had Pressed Putin on Election Meddling in Helsinki

Retired Admiral Mike Rogers says he wished President Donald Trump had pushed back more publicly over Russia’s election meddling when Trump met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland. “I thought there was an opportunity there that I wish we would have taken advantage of,” the former National Security Agency chief said. “He opted to go in a different direction and that certainly is his right... but I wish we had taken advantage of that.” In his first public remarks since retiring from NSA in June, Rogers told a crowd at the Hayden Center in Virginia that he gave Trump detailed briefings on Russian hacking efforts, though Trump would tell him, “Mike, you know I’m in a different place.” Rogers wouldn’t expand on what he thought Trump meant by that, but added that he would reply, “Sir, this isn’t about politics, it isn’t about party, it’s about a foreign state that is attempting to subvert the very tenets of our structure.” Rogers said he declined to sign a recent letter by retired intelligence officers protesting Trump’s move to strip retired CIA chief John Brennan of his security clearance because Rogers was worried that Trump might have less confidence that those still doing the job were being objective and apolitical. — Kimberly Dozier