Quote of the Day: Trump Is Blowing Off Intel Briefings Because “I’m, Like, a Smart Person”

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Donald Trump doesn’t believe all this nonsense about Russia interfering with the election to help him out. I guess we all expected that. But then there’s this:

He also indicated that as president, he would not take the daily intelligence briefing that President Obama and his predecessors have received. Mr. Trump, who has received the briefing sparingly as president-elect, said that it was often repetitive and that he would take it “when I need it.” He said his vice president, Mike Pence, would receive the daily briefing.

“You know, I’m, like, a smart person,” he said. “I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years.”

Hoo boy. A few years ago we learned that President Obama only attended 44 percent of his daily briefings. (He read the material on his own the rest of the time.) Conservatives were up in arms. Marc Thiessen complained that Obama was “consciously placing other priorities ahead of national security.” John Sununu called the daily brief “the most important half-hour of the day for a president who has to protect the security of the United States.” The Daily Caller snarked that Obama “has spent more time golfing than he has spent listening to daily intelligence briefings.” Breitbart called the news “alarming.” Dick Cheney was insulted: “If President Obama were participating in his intelligence briefings on a regular basis then perhaps he would understand why people are so offended at his efforts to take sole credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden.”

Now Trump is saying he’s never going to take the briefing because “I’m, like, a smart person.” I await the conservative response with bated breath.

POSTSCRIPT: This is hardly the most important part of this story, but I’m curious. If Trump has only received two or three intelligence briefs so far, how does he know that they’re “often repetitive”?

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate