Despite reported readiness to meet daily, President-elect Donald Trump has only received intelligence briefings twice since Nov. 8. However, Vice President-elect Mike Pence has received the briefings nearly every day.
The behavior is in line with how Donald Trump Jr. allegedly described the vice presidential role to John Kasich when offering him the position. As The New York Times writes, Donald Jr. told an adviser of Kasich’s that the VP would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy, while Donald would be in charge of “Making America great again.”
“National security is Donald Trump’s No. 1 priority and I think he’s taking it very seriously,” counrered Rep. Devin Nunes, a Republican from California who is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a member of Trump’s transition team, notes The Washington Post. “Look how many leaders he’s met with, how many phone calls he’s done, positions he’s filled. People who are being critical need to get a life.”
“His pace is not as frequent as most recent presidents-elect, but it is not unprecedented over the decades-long scope of these briefings,” added David Priess, a former CIA officer and briefer to President George W. Bush.
Former President Bill Clinton waited 10 days after his election to begin receiving his near-daily briefings, according to the Daily Mail. President George W. Bush waited until December 5 -- during the Florida recount -- to receive his near-daily briefings. Obama not only received daily briefings, but requested “deep dives” on some subjects.
Donald also has yet to meet with James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, or any other top intelligence official.
“The president-elect is missing out on a golden opportunity to learn about the national security threats and challenges facing our nation,” said Michael Morell, a former deputy CIA director, reports The Post. “[It is] knowledge that would be extremely valuable to have when he takes the oath of office and when he steps into the Situation Room for the first time.”