- President Donald Trump reportedly does not read his own daily briefing, breaking from tradition that his last seven predecessors have practiced.
- The president instead gets the information in the briefing read to him orally so he can avoid reading the dense report.
- The top secret briefing is also given to other top officials in the administration, like Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
President Donald Trump typically does not read his daily intelligence briefing, a storied document known as the President’s Daily Briefing, according to the Washington Post.
The briefing is a top secret daily report written by career analysts, mostly from the CIA, and contains individual articles that describe the most pressing issues and developments around the world. The material comes from spies, satellites, and other forms of intelligence.
Trump instead opts for an oral briefing of the document because it’s not the president’s “style of learning,” a source told the Post.
The news worried some intelligence experts, who said that the president would miss important information like context and nuance that could effect decision making on important issues.
“Something will be missed,” according to Leon Panetta, a former CIA director and secretary of defence who also worked as White House chief of staff for President Clinton.
“If for some reason his instincts on what should be done are not backed up by the intelligence because he hasn’t taken the time to read that intel, it increases the risk that he will make a mistake,” Panetta told the Post.
“You can have the smartest people around you – in the end it still comes down to his decision,” he added.
Trump has a different approach to the PDB than past presidents. A report from the Washington Post in May 2017 claimed that he liked his briefings to be short and contain “killer graphics.” In December, the Post reported that mentions of Russia were omitted in the oral briefing so as not to anger the president.
The Trump administration also gives the PDB to at least a dozen top officials in the cabinet, including National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
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