President-elect Donald Trump reportedly turned away the intelligence officials responsible for getting him up to speed on US national-security concerns and world affairs, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday night.
Trump, who has been meeting with domestic and international dignitaries in the two weeks since he won the election, has only received two classified intelligence briefings according to The Post, while Vice President-elect Mike Pence reportedly participated in the meetings almost every day.
The intelligence briefing is a summary of feedback from the 16 US intelligence agencies and a roundup of the CIA’s secret international operations.
Sources within Trump’s transition team who were cited by The Post suggested that, separate from the daily briefings, Trump deems choosing people for national security positions within his administration a priority.
The report follows concerns from within Washington that the president-elect — who has never held public office before — is unprepared for the gravity of daily Oval Office duties.
The Obama administration began nudging the Trump transition team about one such concern on Tuesday, warning that the incoming administration should pay close attention to North Korea, which has grown increasingly belligerent toward the US under its leader, Kim Jong Un.
One unnamed official told The Post “Trump has a lot of catching up to do,” while David Priess, a former CIA officer who was on George W. Bush’s daily briefing team, said Trump’s absence from the meetings “is not unprecedented over the decades-long scope of these briefings.”
Since his major upset victory in the November 8 election, Trump has made considerable fanfare of the numerous meetings he has had with potential cabinet appointees, according to a New York Times report published Tuesday.
The newspaper noted that Trump preferred meeting candidates at his Bedminster, New Jersey, estate “because the images of him receiving potential cabinet appointees at the front door of the clubhouse resembled 10 Downing Street in London.”
Uneasiness over Trump’s ability to handle national security and world affairs reached unprecedented levels after the Republican National Convention. Dozens of top GOP national security officials signed a letter warning that Trump could be “the most reckless president in American history.”
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