WASHINGTON — When President Donald Trump visited CIA headquarters in the first weeks of his presidency, he toured the protected flooring exactly where company officers immediate drone strikes from suspected terrorists, existing and former U.S. officers explained to NBC Information.

Amazed by what he noticed, Trump conveyed to incoming CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the assembled company officers that he required them to just take a far more aggressive posture, according to two existing U.S. officers and 1 former official briefed on the go to.

Shortly afterward, numerous sources said, the CIA began carrying out drone strikes that may well not have been licensed underneath the Obama administration, like in Syria, exactly where the army has taken the lead on targeting militant leaders.

The White Residence granted CIA officers far more autonomy to decide on whether and when the U.S. can pull the result in in different locations all around the environment, like in Yemen, exactly where the army carries out the bulk of the airstrikes, according to 4 U.S. officers who have been briefed on the agency’s counterterrorism operations. The upshot is much less micromanaging of targeting selections by the White Residence, these officers say.




A U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone sits armed with Hellfire missiles and a 500-pound bomb in a hanger at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan

A U.S. Air Drive MQ-nine Reaper drone sits armed with Hellfire missiles and a five hundred-pound bomb in a hanger at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan March nine, 2016.