In another morning tweeting session, President-elect Donald Trump defended his lies and insults directed at the intelligence community, and incredibly claimed that he is a "big fan" of intelligence, despite the fact that he plans to replace the intelligence community with "his own people."

A day after Donald Trump favorably tweeted about Julian Assange and smeared the intelligence community, he took to Twitter to push back on resulting criticism:

First of all, “the people” do not need our president to be a mouthpiece and amplifier for Julian Assange.

Secondly, “the media” do not need to “make it look” like Trump is hostile toward the intelligence community, nor the intelligence they provide. Trump has quite successfully done that himself — by skipping most intelligence briefings and saying he does not need them because he is “like a smart person”; by rejecting intelligence assessments on Russian interference; by promising his own secret intelligence (which he naturally never delivered); and by planning to replace the intelligence community with “his own people.”

That hardly constitutes being a “big fan,” by any reasonable definition.

Trump is gaslighting critics who have rightly identified that he is, in fact, aggressively hostile toward the U.S. intelligence community.

But his words and actions make abundantly clear where he really stands, and it is of critical importance to understand Trump’s long game to discredit the intelligence community, replace them with sycophantic cronies, and turn intelligence into an extension of the White House.

It is one of his most audacious bids toward authoritarianism. His deflective and defensive tweets are designed to convince you otherwise — do not be fooled.