Report: Trump Refuses to Read Daily Intelligence Briefs Because Reading Is Not His Preferred “Style of Learning”
We probably didn’t need a Washington Post report with three bylines to learn that President Trump isn’t a big fan of reading. He’s said as much himself. According to Post’s report, the president, and gatekeeper to the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, isn’t willing to get over his aversion to the written word in order to read his daily intelligence briefing. Instead, he relies on staffers to give him an oral breakdown “of select intelligence issues” from the document designed to bring the president up to speed on all developments involving national security and issues affecting foreign policy. Previous presidents made sure to read the briefing on a regular basis, sometimes with analysts on hand to answer questions. From the Post:
Reading the traditionally dense intelligence book is not Trump’s preferred “style of learning,” according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
The arrangement underscores Trump’s impatience with exhaustive classified documents that go to the commander in chief — material that he has said he prefers condensed as much as possible. But by not reading the daily briefing, the president could hamper his ability to respond to crises in the most effective manner, intelligence experts warned.
Intelligence analysts reportedly tried to tailor their oral briefings to accommodate the president’s limited attention span by showing him photos and videos. That is, if the briefing even happens. While White House advisers told the Post that the briefing takes place daily, the schedules released to the public suggest that they only take place every two to three days at 11 am. Also, they are apparently difficult to keep on track if one of Trump’s impulsive early morning rage tweets is dominating the news cycle.
On such days, there would only be a few minutes left — and the briefers would have barely broached the topics they came to discuss, one senior U.S. official said.
“He often goes off on tangents during the briefing and you’d have to rein him back in,” one official said.
Given how much of the the president’s morning is devoted to “executive time,” a euphemism for watching Fox News and tweeting, it sounds like Trump prefers his oral briefings to come from Fox & Friends hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade.