Former Joint Chiefs chairman praises US intelligence

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  • Dempsey is usually not political
  • This comes as Trump has publicly derided US intelligence agencies

Washington (CNN)The former chairman of the Joint Chiefs took to Twitter Thursday night to praise the work done by the US intelligence community, a message that could be viewed as a pushback against President-elect Donald Trump, who has criticized agencies' findings regarding Russia and 2016 election.

"Intelligence is hard, thankless work. Fortunately, we have dedicated, patriotic, and courageous men and women on the job. Thanks," retired Gen. Martin Dempsey tweeted.
Dempsey has been mum about Trump -- as well as anything else involving the US intelligence community and politics. In July, he made a rare political statement when he wrote an open letter to generals -- specifically retired Marine Gen. John Allen and retired Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn -- for being involved at political conventions.
    "The military is not a political prize," he wrote in the letter. "Politicians should take the advice of senior military leaders but keep them off the stage."
    He continued, "It was a mistake for them to participate as they did. It was a mistake for our presidential candidates to ask them to do so."
    Since the intelligence community began revealing its growing belief that Russia meddled in the US presidential election -- with some agencies believing Russia did so to aid Trump -- the President-elect has attacked a key body he will rely on once he enters the Oval Office.
    Last month, Trump invoked the CIA's false intelligence about weapons of mass destruction to question the agency's claims about Russian involvement in the election.
    And on Tuesday, Trump mocked the US intelligence community by suggesting that intelligence officials postponed an "'intelligence' briefing on so-called 'Russian hacking'" because they might need more time "to build a case." He called the alleged delay -- which has been disputed by US intelligence officials -- as "very strange."