Since winning the election on Nov. 8, Donald Trump has received just two classified intelligence briefings – well below the number normally taken by his predecessors, according to the Washington Post.
The newspaper reports that an intelligence team has been available to deliver briefings on international affairs and national security threats each day since he was elected, but Trump has only opted to participate twice – once in the days after the election and another time on Tuesday, before heading to Florida for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Trump VP Mike Pence, on the other hand, has received intelligence briefings nearly every day since Nov. 8, the Washington Post reported, citing officials. This is just the latest sign that Trump wants Pence to do the actual work of, you know, being president.
While the Trump team is claiming the president-elect’s disinterest in receiving these briefings is no big deal, it’s raising plenty of alarm bells elsewhere.
One official, according to the Washington Post, says that Trump “has a lot of catching up to do” and taking part in such briefings would allow him to at least partially get up to speed.
More from the report:
The briefings have for decades been made available well before Inauguration Day to newly elected presidents as a way of deepening their understanding of foreign developments. Spy agencies are also eager to cultivate a relationship with the executive who will serve as their most important customer and set their priorities for the next four years.
Former intelligence officials and experts said that presidents-elect have adopted varied approaches to how and when the daily brief is delivered, but that Trump is getting fewer than most at this stage.
The reason this is such a troubling sign about the incoming Trump administration is that the president-elect has proven time and again that his biggest weakness is his utter lack of knowledge on the foreign policy front.
Throughout the campaign, and even during the presidential debates, Trump repeatedly showed not only that he isn’t well-read on these issues, but also that he isn’t interested in learning. This, coupled with his current indifference about important intelligence meetings, is only a disturbing sign about what we can expect from Trump when he takes over the role of commander-in-chief.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.