Turkey of the Day: Trump Ignoring Intelligence Briefings Since Election


The Washington Post reports that Donald Trump has been “turning away intelligence briefers since election win.”

President-elect Donald Trump has received two classified intelligence briefings since his surprise election victory earlier this month, a frequency that is notably lower — at least so far — than that of his predecessors, current and former U.S. officials said.

A team of intelligence analysts has been prepared to deliver daily briefings on global developments and security threats to Trump in the two weeks since he won. Vice President-elect Mike Pence, by contrast, has set aside time for intelligence briefings almost every day since the election, officials said.

Officials involved in the Trump transition team cautioned against assigning any significance to the briefing schedule that the president-elect has set so far, noting that he has been immersed in the work of forming his administration, and has made filling key national security posts his top priority.

But others have interpreted Trump’s limited engagement with his briefing team as an additional sign of indifference from a president-elect who has no meaningful experience on national security issues and was dismissive of U.S. intelligence agencies’ capabilities and findings during the campaign.

A senior U.S. official who receives the same briefing delivered to President Obama each day said that devoting time to such sessions would help Trump get up to speed on world events.

“Trump has a lot of catching up to do,” the official said.

In contrast, George Bush received daily briefings, although they were delayed until December 5 due to the recount. Bill Clinton first started receiving intelligence briefings ten days after being elected, and then received them most working days. Obama also received regular intelligence briefings:

After his election in 2008, President Obama took part not only in regular intelligence briefings but also scheduled “deep dives” on key subjects including Iran’s nuclear program and covert CIA operations, including the accelerating campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan.

“During the transition, President Obama was an avid consumer of intelligence,” said retired Lt. Gen. Michael V. Hayden, who was CIA director when Obama was elected.

I guess Trump thinks he is so smart that he doesn’t need those briefings–or he plans to have Pence handle all this stuff.


  1. 1
    Ray says:

    The problem is they need to have these reports deciphered to where they are in comic book form. They should be no higher grade level then 2nd grade comprehension. Then with all of the pictures bright colors Trump might be able to stay focused, but I doubt it.

  2. 2
    Anonymous says:


    Nixon did not read any intelligence briefings when he was President elect.  Trump reads them once a week – hope this will change once he is President.

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    The post is correct. Your need to go back as far as Nixon demonstrates the point that Trump is not following current procedures. Plus Nixon was well-connected and well versed in foreign policy. He could have done much better than Trump in relying on written information. Trump could use the give and take of the oral briefings which have become common place.

    Yes, hopefully this will change once he is president, but he gives no indication that it will change, saying how smart he is and not needing the briefings.

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