Don't Worry About Donald Trump's Access To Intel Briefings. He May Not Actually Be Interested In Them
Make no mistake, there are many qualms to be had with a Donald Trump presidency, from his exactly zero experience in government to some of his wildly abhorrent rhetoric to his potentially unprecedented business conflicts of interest — and that's just off the top of my head right now. But, of all of the things you can potentially point to to exhibit Trump's inability to serve as commander in chief, the following reports might be the most major of all.
According to reports from the the Washington Post and NBC News, President Obama has ordered a team of intelligence analysts to brief President-elect Trump on the current global security status and the nuances therein. As Washington Post's Greg Miller and Adam Entous described the briefing and its weighty materials:
The President’s Daily Brief, as the classified document is known, is designed to provide a summary of key security developments and insights from all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, as well as an update on covert programs being run overseas by the CIA. It is typically delivered each morning by intelligence analysts selected because of their experience and expertise for the prestigious job.
However, as MSNBC noted, "Trump had reportedly only received four of these briefings — for an average of one per week — since Election Day."
As Reuters reported, the number of briefings President-elect Trump has had is "far fewer than most of his recent predecessors." That is an especially alarming fact since he has the least experience by a long shot. NBC News reported that rather than taking the briefings, sources said, "Trump has turned the briefings down to focus on meetings with potential Cabinet members, media executives and business associates."
In a column, Steve Benen of MSNBC wondered what stands in the way of the president-elect's desire to be informed on the nation's security: "Is Trump just lazy? Does he find the briefings too boring? ... Or is this simply a matter of Trump not trusting U.S. intelligence agencies?" Or, Anderson Cooper may have said it best when he pondered of Trump, "Doesn't he have, like, a briefing book on ISIS to be reading...?"
The answer, apparently, is yes. He just doesn't do it.