Donald Trump likes to keep his daily intelligence briefings short and with “killer graphics,” reports The Washington Post.
“That’s our task, right? To deliver the material in a way that he can best understand the information we’re trying to communicate,” CIA Director Mike Pompeo told The Post. Pompeo added that Trump frequently stops briefings to ask questions and likes to look over “killer graphics” such as maps and charts.
According to the Post, Trump receives his daily intelligence briefings over a glass of Diet Coke at around 10:30 in the morning. While intelligence analysts present the information, Trump insists that top appointees such as Pompeo and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats be present.
“I like bullets or I like as little as possible,” Trump told Axios shortly after getting inaugurated in January. “I don’t need, you know, 200-page reports on something that can be handled on a page.”
Pompeo described the briefings as a “very oral, interactive discussion.” He, and Coats, have had to rearranged their morning routines to deliver the briefings to Trump in person every day.
But while Pompeo said that he too prefers to get “to the core of the issue quickly,” Trump’s laissez-faire attitude toward intelligence briefings has raised alarm at times — earlier this month, Trump said it was his “absolute right” to disclose highly classified information about ISIS operations during a meeting with Russia’s foreign minister and ambassador to the US.
Former assistant director to the CIA Mark Lowenthal told The Post that Trump’s “lack of previous exposure” to US intelligence leads to unprecedented blunders with highly classified material.
“Pompeo and Coats are doing their best to give him the most accurate daily briefing, but my sense is in the rank-and-file, they are very worried about how do you deal with him and about sharing with him sensitive material,” Lowenthal said.
Vice President Mike Pence and senior adviser Jared Kushner will often also listen to the briefings alongside Trump.
Intelligence officials told the Post that Trump’s daily briefings are a chance for them to show Trump, who once told Fox News that he would not need intelligence briefings every day, the extent of knowledge that the government has.
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