President Obama received a briefing last week on a dossier with allegations of compromising material being held by the Russians on his successor, Joe Biden has confirmed. Biden says intelligence chiefs also briefed him on the dossier, but neither his officer nor Obama's requested more information, CNN reports. Biden—who says he read the entire 35-page report distributed by intelligence agencies—tells the AP that Obama wondered: "What does this have to do with anything?" Biden says intelligence leaders responded: "Well, we feel obliged to tell you, Mr. President, because you may hear about it," and because they had told Donald Trump about the dossier. Senators say the Intelligence Committee was also briefed.
Biden tells the AP that Trump shouldn't be publicly attacking intelligence officials—or making comparisons to Nazi Germany. He says it is "very damaging" for a president "to take one of the crown jewels of our national defense and denigrate it," he says. "It plays into, particularly now, the Russian narrative that America doesn't know what it's doing." Biden says at least five foreign leaders have contacted him with their concerns about Trump's criticism of intelligence agencies. He says that he's been sending his own successor, Mike Pence, advice on tricky relationships with foreign leaders and on "the things that could explode most easily." (On Thursday, Obama gave Biden the country's highest civilian honor.)