During his mostly softball interview on Fox News Sunday today, Donald Trump revealed he finds daily intel briefings too boring to bother himself with every day. And besides, “I don’t have to be told—you know, I’m like a smart person … I don’t need that,” he said.
After dismissing as “ridiculous” the CIA’s findings that Russia had interfered with our recent presidential election to help elect him, host Chris Wallace brought up the fact that Trump has been skipping most of his daily intelligence briefings and, at the same time, Wallace began to subtly help him delegitimize the CIA (from the FoxNews.com transcript, with added emphases):
WALLACE: I just want to ask you about your skepticism about the intelligence community. You are getting the presidential daily brief --
WALLACE: -- only once a week.
TRUMP: Well, I get it when I need it.
WALLACE: But is there some skepticism?
Instead of questioning why a president-elect would be so derelict with his responsibility of keeping the country safe, Wallace suggested to Trump that maybe he had a good reason not to take the briefings.
But Trump didn’t go there… yet. First, he wanted to boast that he is too important and smart to bother with such boring matters from the little folk:
TRUMP: First of all, these are very good people that are giving me the briefings. If something should change from this point, immediately call me. I’m available on one minute’s notice.
I don’t have to be told—you know, I’m like a smart person. I don’t have to be told the same thing and the same words every single day for the next eight years. It could be eight years—but eight years. I don’t need that.
But I do say if something should change, let us know. Now, in the meantime, my generals are great, are being briefed. Mike Pence is being briefed, who is, by the way, one of my very good decisions. He’s terrific. And they’re being briefed. And I’m being briefed also.
But if they’re going to come in and tell me the exact same thing that they told me, you know, that doesn’t change necessarily. There might be times where it might change. I mean, there will be some very fluid situations. I’ll be there not every day but more than that.
But I don’t need to be told, Chris, the same thing every day, every morning, same words. Sir, nothing has changed. Let’s go over it again. I don’t need that.
I can just imagine the Fox News outrage if President Obama had ever said such a thing. But Wallace didn’t even question it. Instead, he moved on to suggest that a review of Russia’s involvement in our election was merely partisan politics:
WALLACE: President Obama just ordered a full review of Russia’s involvement, hacking in the election. And Democrats are now calling for hearings.
Do you think this is part of an effort to undercut you?
TRUMP: Well, it could be. I think President Obama’s been terrific. He’s been very respectful of the process and everything else. So, I saw that.
But—and I want it too. I think it’s great. I think—I don’t want anyone hacking us. And I’m not only talking about countries. I’m talking about anyone, period.
But if you’re going to do that, I think you should not just say Russia, you should say other countries also, and maybe other individuals. It’s not necessarily –
Obviously, Trump didn’t take the bait. So Wallace tried again.
WALLACE: Do you think this is a political effort here?
TRUMP: It could be. I mean, it could be. Hey, look, we had many people saying one of the great victories of all time. They’re very embarrassed.
This, combined with Wallace’s other efforts to help Trump delegitimize the CIA, should forever taint him as a man who put partisanship and Republican politics over journalism, ethics and even patriotism.
Shame on these two.
Had to edit it to fit 140 characters to: Comment by Jan Hall on www.newshounds.us/: "Don’t know if Sec Ser has Code Name for Pres Rump yet, but “Four Pinocchio’s” sounds good.
Hope you don’t mind. This is the best comment on Trump that I’v read in a while.
Who says things like “I have a good brain” and yet repeats the same nonsensical statement over and over again?
Trump is not capable of understanding the words of a PDB.
You’ve got a point. Security briefings cut into the time narcissist Orange Hitler has to gaze into a mirror admiring himself. 😉
Of course no democrat President would get such consideration. If Wallace was interviewing FDR, Wallace would tell his cameraman, “Get a wide shot. I want to make sure the wheelchair is in the picture.”.