Donald Trump is not a very big fan of briefings. He is not briefed anywhere near as much as his predecessors. The memos to Trump also have to be broken down in ways that he can more easily understand them.
And there are some subjects that Trump isn’t briefed on at all. And these are subjects that would make him especially upset. Chief among these is the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
During a recent interview with GQ correspondent Julia Ioffe, 26 year CIA veteran Marc Polymeropoulos tried to explain why this was the case. He told Ioffe, “No one’s going to brief anything on Russia to the president.”
The former CIA Officer continued, “They’re terrified of doing that. I know that from the briefers. Because he’ll explode and the whole thing will get derailed, because he has this weird affinity for Putin.”
Ioffe asked the intelligence expert why this might be. “He doesn’t want to be embarrassed in front of Putin, that’s part of the dilemma,” Polymeropoulos replied. “Just look at how he behaves with the Queen. That’s how he behaves with everyone who has any glamour and cachet. Putin has everything he doesn’t have.”
In September, Politico reported that CIA Head Gina Haspel goes out of her way to keep information on Russia off the president’s desk.
CIA Press Secretary Timothy Barrett pushed back on the report saying, “Any suggestion of a political motive for how she leads this agency is misguided.”