President Trump prefers to have his intelligence briefings delivered orally rather than read them himself reports The Washington Post. The presidential daily briefing, or PDB, is a collection of the day’s most important global intelligence reports and analyses that help shape the president’s understanding of the changes going on in the world.
The news that Trump has officials read the PDB out loud to him is perhaps a relief to those of us who presumed he wasn’t bothering with his intelligence briefings at all, but it’s also deeply disturbing to those of us who expect even a baseline literacy and effort from our commander-in-chief.
It’s not the most surprising of revelations, given Trump’s well-known aversion to reading in all of its forms. He’s also not a particularly curious mans and prefers to fabricate facts rather than to learn the real details of any given policy issue. Given the choice between getting his talking points from Fox & Friends or the experts in the federal government, he usually opts for the former.
The Post adds that the habit of having others read the briefing to him is in breaking with the tradition of his seven predecessors who all insisted on reading and deeply engaging with these crucial documents. Intelligence experts told The Post that Trump’s insistence on heavily condensed intel reports and refusal to read them himself could hamstring him when it comes to responding critically and effectively to crises.
To combat the president’s laziness and toddler-like attention span, officials have even added pictures, graphics, and videos in an effort to get him to invest more attention. Even when he does engage with his briefings to some extent, he seems unable to check his infamous ego at the door.
One source told The Post that Trump has complained that his briefers are “talking down to him,” presumably because they inadvertently make him insecure about his broad and deep ignorance on most topics.
If we needed any more proof that Trump isn’t taking his duties as president serious, we have it now. We need and deserve a leader who will engage with his intelligence briefings, apply his knowledge and intellect, and choose the best court of action for the country. Trump is flying blind and it’s only a matter of time before dire consequences emerge.
Read the full Washington Post story here.