When ex-spies go rogue by becoming lawmakers

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GLEN ALLEN, Va. — Once Rep. Abigail Spanberger embraced the secret life of a CIA operative, she never imagined breaking cover.

She handled and recruited spies in Europe, where she specialized in counterterrorism and nuclear proliferation issues. She aspired to an appointment somewhere as chief of station, the Langley equivalent of ambassador. Instead she wound up leaving the agency in 2014 in search of a less nomadic life after having three children.

Then came the Trump presidency and an overheated climate in which partisanship often triumphed over facts. So Spanberger (D-Va.), a proudly apolitical collector of evidence, decided to do something profoundly radical for an ex-spy. She ran for the House of Representatives — and won, upsetting Rep. Dave Brat (R) in Virginia’s 7th District. On Thursday, as the 116th Congress convened, she joined a small vanguard of ex-intelligence officers becoming Instagram-friendly lawmakers.

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Original Source: By Ian Shapira Washington Post

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