Donald Trump receiving intelligence briefings from 'number of sources' after allegedly turning down official reports

President-elect has reportedly only received two official intelligence briefings since winning election 

Benjamin Kentish
Monday 28 November 2016 12:25
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Trump receiving intelligence briefings from 'number of sources'

Donald Trump is receiving intelligence briefings from “a number of sources” other than official US security services, his former campaign manager has said.

The news emerged following reports the incoming US President had only attended two official intelligence briefings in the two and half weeks since his election, leading some to accuse him of not taking his duties seriously.

The Washington Post quoted officials as saying Vice President-elect Mike Pence has, by contrast, made time to receive intelligence briefings almost every day since the election.

Kellyanne Conway, who managed Mr Trump's succesful presidential campaign, refused to deny the President-elect had been turning down the classified briefings given by security service officials to sitting and incoming presidents.

She told CNN: “I can’t discuss that publicly.

“What I can tell you is that he is the most engaged individual I’ve ever met and brilliant to boot, and he is certainly availing himself of the information as provided to him from a number of sources, including those intelligence briefings.”

Mr Trump’s team have publicised details of conversations he has held with a number of world leaders, many of which took place immediately after his election victory on 8 November.

His team did not make contact with the US State Department, which usually co-ordinates the president elect’s interaction with other world leaders, until two days after the election.

Ms Conway said of Mr Trump: “He is receiving classified intelligence briefings, and the president-elect is also receiving information through his personal and on the phone meetings with over what’s now 41 world leaders, in addition to meeting with 60 men and women who could serve in his government but certainly without the promise of any formal position.”

The incomng president's dealings with other world leaders have already been criticised for raising potential conflicts of interest with his business links.

A meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was also attended by the President-elect’s daughter, Ivanka, who is a senior executive of his company and responsible for promoting its interests around the world.

It was later claimed Mr Trump had also used a congratulatory phone call with Mauricio Macri, the president of Argentina, to ask for help in securing permits for a planned Trump business project in Buenos Aires. The claim was denied by both Mr Trump and Mr Macri.

Mr Trump is currently in discussions about who will form his cabinet once he takes office on 20 January.

He has so far appointed Alabama senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, Kansas congressman Mike Pompeo as CIA director, South Carolina governor Nikki Haley as UN ambassador and Republican Party donor Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary.

All of these appointments are subject to approval from the Senate.

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