According to NBC News, Donald Trump has only attended two intelligence briefings since he won the election over two weeks ago, a much lower number than his predecessors and lower even than Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
A senior intelligence official cautioned that it is too early to know what the significance of Trump’s sparse briefing schedule really is, given that he is in the middle of his transition process. But the news, first reported by the Washington Post, will likely fuel critics who’ve questioned Trump’s knowledge of foreign affairs and national security issues.
From The Washington Post:
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’s actions should be seen as deeply troubling. 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.