Trump: I Criticized This Report Before I Read It, But Now I’ve Read It And I’m Right!

on January 31, 2019 in Washington, DC.
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 31: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, in the Oval Office at the White House on January 31, 2019 in Washington, DC. U.S.-China top trade o... WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 31: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, in the Oval Office at the White House on January 31, 2019 in Washington, DC. U.S.-China top trade officials have finished two days of face-to-face trade talks to end a months-long trade war between the worldÕs two largest economies. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) MORE LESS

President Donald Trump hadn’t read the report when he criticized it Wednesday. But he has now read the report — and he’s right!

That’s just about what the commander-in-chief told reporters in the Oval Office Thursday regarding the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s Worldwide Threat Assessment, which was released Tuesday.

As was widely reported, the annual report’s top lines contradict many of the President’s favorite talking points.

Iran is not currently undertaking the key nuclear weapons-development activities we judge necessary to produce a nuclear device,” it read. And later: “North Korea retains its WMD capabilities, and the IC continues to assess that it is unlikely to give up all of its WMD stockpiles, delivery systems, and production capabilities.”

But, Trump said Thursday, having read the report… he’s right!

“I didn’t see the report from the intelligence…” he began telling the White House press corps before trailing off. “When you read it, it’s a lot different than was covered in the news.” 

That’s essentially an admission that when Trump trashed intelligence leaders on Twitter Wednesday, he hadn’t read the thing he was criticizing.

Trump separately claimed the intelligence leaders told him that media coverage of their public, televised Senate testimony on the report was both “mischaracterized” and “fake news.”

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Sincerely,
TPM Staff
Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: