Trump getting President's Daily Briefings on average only once a week
Donald Trump is getting the President’s Daily Brief on average only once a week, according to a US official with knowledge of situation.
President Barack Obama and other key national security policymakers currently receive the brief six days a week, according to the CIA website.
Trump has attracted some criticism for not regularly participating in national security briefings as regularly as past leaders preparing to occupy the White House. Insiders say that rapid changes in the world’s security situations require the American leader to be as up to date as possible.
“The pace at which he’s getting them is below the norm,” said David Priess, author of “The President’s Book of Secrets,” a history of the so-called “PDB.” “Most Presidents-elect, once they’ve chosen to get them, have chosen to get daily or near daily sessions, reading the daily brief and discussing it with briefers.”
While Priess said Trump’s rate of briefings is “unusual,” he said it’s not unprecedented – when Richard Nixon was President-elect, he refused to accept any briefings. Intelligence officers resorted to sending written daily briefings to Nixon’s secretary, but when he finally went to the White House, those envelopes were returned, all of them unopened.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence is receiving the briefings on a daily basis.
Critics said Trump’s apparent lack of interest in more frequent briefings was in line with his refusal to accept the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia was behind cyber hacks during the election.
“His denial of Russian hacking during the Presidential campaign flies in the face of the strong consensus of our intelligence agencies, and indicates a willingness to ignore the hard truth when it conflicts with his own interests or predilections,” California Rep. Adam Schiff, the leading Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said in an email.
Trump has requested a focused briefing on North Korea, the official said.
Contact between the American president with the leader of North Korea has been frowned upon, given the country’s long list of human rights concerns have led Washington to keep its distance.
But that could change.
“I would speak to him, I would have no problem speaking to him,” Trump said in May about Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
CNN’s Nicole Gaouette contributed to this report.