Trump 1st Since Nixon to Not Read Daily Intelligence Briefs

According to 'Washington Post' report
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2018 12:41 PM CST
President Trump smiles during the National Prayer Breakfast, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – Donald Trump is the first president since Richard Nixon to not regularly read the President's Daily Brief—a comprehensive update on the world put together by US intelligence agencies—sources tell the Washington Post, and that has some intelligence experts concerned he's putting the US at risk. Sources say that within months of Trump taking office, he made it clear he had little interest in the PDB, preferring oral briefings spiced up with graphics, photos, and videos instead. One source says reading full reports is not Trump's "style of learning," and the Post notes the president has "a famously short attention span." Publicly released schedules indicate Trump has been getting these oral intelligence briefings every two or three days.

Former CIA director Leon Panetta and former CIA assistant director Mark Lowenthal say short oral briefings aren't enough to get a firm grasp on world issues and could put both Trump and the country in danger in the long run. But administration officials defend Trump's intelligence absorption, with a spokesperson for the National Security Council saying Trump "is an avid consumer of intelligence ... and looks forward every day to the give and take of his intelligence briefings." Sources say Trump asks unique questions during his briefings—like "Why are we even in Somalia?" or "Why can't I just pull out of Afghanistan?"—but also occasionally brushes off his briefers, complaining they are "talking down to him." Read the full story here.

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