Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Sunday that he is concerned that President-elect Donald Trump is not getting his daily intelligence briefings.
“he has taken a few of them, but he is not getting them every day,” he said on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation.”
Panetta said that a U.S. president must be in touch on a daily basis with intelligence briefers. “So that you have an understanding as to … what’s happening in the world … what are the crises you have to pay attention to, and what steps do you have to take in order to deal with those crises.”
He added that a president is always looking at a “series of threats that may be out there. Some of them may be credible, some may not be credible. But those threats change on a day to day basis with ne3w intelligence, with new sources, with new assets that provide information.”
“Every president I know — and I worked under nine presidents — every one has taken their intelligence daily brief because that sets the agenda for what you have to focus on as president of the United States,” he said.
According to a report last month by The Washington Post, the President-elect has been turning away intelligence briefers since winning the presidency. Reportedly, he has been receiving a far lower number of briefings than his predecessors.
Incoming Chief of Staff Reince Priebus did not exactly refute Panetta’s account as he said that Trump gets intelligence briefings almost daily. “It’s about every day,” Priebus said on the same show, ‘Face the Nation.’ “It’s happening quite frequently .. and I think those are just going to ramp up as we get closer to January 20.”
“I’m not sure if it is every day, but it’s a lot. And it’s who he is. Someone who studies and someone who wants to be informed and someone who asks a log of questions and listens.”
During the Sunday interview, Panetta also said that he is still trying to figure out Trump and how he will act when he assumes office.
“He’s very unconventional, and you know, and you’re just not quite sure which Donald Trump is going to walk into the Oval Office, whether it’s the, you know, the reality TV, tweeting president, or whether it’s the business president who will be serious-minded about approaching it.
So it’s really difficult right now to try to get a sense of just exactly what the President-elect is going to be like.”
For the time being, however, it seems that Trump is more focused about how he is being portrayed on Saturday Night Live, than the rest of the world as he repeatedly has committed what are considered significant foreign policy mistakes. However, he seems to have a very definite idea of what Alec Baldwin does every Saturday night.
Just tried watching Saturday Night Live – unwatchable! Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can't get any worse. Sad
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 4, 2016