Arlington, VA

CIA and the Presidents: The Agency’s Changing Relationship with the White House

Shirlington Library
4200 Campbell Ave
Arlington, Virginia 22206

Former CIA Director Richard Helms once said that “You only work for one president at a time.”
CIA Chief Historian, David Robarge, will discuss how the Agency’s dealings with Presidents have changed through administrations and how Presidents’ experience with intelligence and their foreign policy agendas affect the relationship.

Helms’s remark encapsulates the CIA’s widely varying relationships with the White House since its establishment in 1947, and the way that the Agency depends on the Presidents it serves not only for its missions, but its political survival. The CIA’s ties to the Presidents have differed widely over the years: sometimes they have been close or cordial, but at other times strained or non-existent. And the Agency’s leaders have tried many ways to maintain their relevance and influence with the Presidents with mixed success.

This program is part of the Library’s summer reading program: Everyone Has a Story.

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