President Donald Trump asks intelligence officials to give him oral presentations of the President’s Daily Briefing rather than reading the brief himself, as most previous presidents have done, The Washington Post reported on Friday.
Trump prefers to rely on oral presentations — featuring graphics, videos and maps —rather than reading the report because that’s his “style of learning,” the Washington Post reported, citing an unnamed source with knowledge of the situation.
He asks “edge” questions during the oral presentations, an unnamed senior administration official told the Washington Post, and has complained that briefers are “talking down to him.”
Other unnamed officials told the Washington Post that Trump asks direct questions of his briefers such as, “Why can’t I just pull out of Afghanistan?”
The daily briefing — which is a highly classified roundup of important intelligence, compiled before dawn — is typically delivered first thing in the morning. According to the Washington Post, Trump reportedly receives the in-person briefing he prefers once every two or three days. The last president who may not have regularly read the intelligence briefing was Richard Nixon.
During his presidential transition in 2016, Trump turned away opportunities to be briefed on classified intelligence.
“You know, I’m, like, a smart person,” he said in December 2016.“I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years.”
A month later, Trump said that his briefings on global threats made him realize that he has “got to get it right,” but indicated that he preferred to see those global issues summed up in one-page briefings in listicle form.
“I like bullets or I like as little as possible,” he said. “I don’t need, you know, 200-page reports on something that can be handled on a page. That I can tell you.”