Donald Trump has never backed away from a fight and has never taken criticism lying down and by the looks of things he has no plans to change. Last week, it was confirmed by several media outlets that Mr. Trump had declined to take part in numerous intelligence briefings since being elected. Past president-elects and vice presidents met with the director of National Intelligence and received a daily intelligence briefing. It is claimed that after winning the presidency in 2008, Barack Obama received about seven briefings per week.
Trump, who is not like any other politician in American history, has been holed up in Trump Tower taking care of his business empire, making picks for his cabinet, and feuding on Twitter with many well-known figures. Instead, Trump’s vice president and former Indiana Governor Mike Pence has been getting these vital briefings. Just hours ago, Trump sat down with “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace, who asked him why is he getting only one presidential intelligence briefing a week.
The president-elect gave a very blunt answer that surprised even the anchor. The real estate mogul more or less made it clear that he has more important matters to handle instead of listening to a group of experts repeating the same things to him every single day.
Never shy to brag about himself, the businessman turned politician said that he is too smart to learn anything from reading those top secret documents. The braggadocious billionaire went on to reveal that he knows that he picked a very qualified man to be his vice president, so he is certain Mr. Pence is taking the briefings seriously.
In a weak attempt to reassure half of the American population and those, who fear that he is taking the presidency as a hobby, Trump took a small step in the right direction. He revealed that he had instructed members of his future administration – James Mattis, the next secretary of defense, and John Kelly, upcoming secretary of homeland security – to be regularly briefed and alert him if something newsworthy shows up in one of those briefings. Trump said:
“You know, I’m, like, a smart person. I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years. Could be eight years — but eight years. I don’t need that. But I do say, ‘If something should change, let us know.’”
He went on to add: “And I’m being briefed also. But if they’re going to come in and tell me the exact same thing that they tell me — you know, it doesn’t change, necessarily. Now, there will be times where it might change. I mean, there will be some very fluid situations. I’ll be there not every day, but more than that. But I don’t need to be told, Chris, the same thing every day, every morning — same words. ‘Sir, nothing has changed. Let’s go over it again.’ I don’t need that.”
In the same interview, Trump decided to slam once more the U.S. intelligence community for coming out last week and saying that Russia helped him during the election.