Trump Didn’t Bother to Receive His Intelligence Briefings for the Last Month of His Presidency
It is almost like he didn’t care. Maybe never did?
Donald Trump last received an intelligence briefing before heading to Mar-a-Lago on December 23rd. His next briefing was due to be on January 6th. That briefing never happened. Oddly, he never got one for the rest of his period as president, during a period in which the country was at tremendous risk and not just because of the riots. One wonders if the intel community didn’t trust him.
Thus, from December 23, 2020 until January 20th 2021, the only people to get intelligence briefings were Biden and his team. Mike Pence also received briefings and took the responsibility seriously.
According to Mediaite:
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After the 2020 election, PDB briefings also continued for a period of time,” Helgerson wrote. “When Sanner briefed the president before he went to Mar-a-Lago for the holidays, he commented that he would see her later.”
“The briefings were to resume on 6 January,” Helgserson continued, “but none were scheduled after the attack on the Capitol.”
Context: The info is in a new chapter of John Helgerson’s book GETTING TO KNOW THE PRESIDENT—a useful source for my book THE PRESIDENT’S BOOK OF SECRETS—written for the CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence.
It’s on the CIA website here:https://t.co/4bYQINUKlP
— David Priess (@DavidPriess) November 29, 2021
One has to wonder whether the intelligence community ever trusted Trump and how hard it must have been to decide which information to hand over to him and which to maybe keep in a drawer. After all, Trump wasn’t exactly careful with the top-secret documents he was given.
It appears, however, that the closer and closer, Trump got to the election in 2020, and especially afterward, he simply didn’t give a damn.
He received regular briefings during his presidency as well, despite publicly attacking the U.S. intelligence community throughout. As his presidency matured, however, he took them less regularly, and ultimately only received an average of two briefings per week in the later years.
If one was going to go through all the trouble of getting elected president and thinking of oneself as the smartest, most powerful man on earth, and having the responsibility placed on your shoulders, wouldn’t you want to know as much information as possible as to what’s going on around the world?
Yes, but that requires two things. First, it requires some sort of intellectual curiosity. And second, it requires a president to care about what happens to the country as a whole.
Apparently, Trump lacked one or both. Interesting that neither party seemed adamant to get a briefing in after January 6th.