Donald Trump shaken by 'scary' intelligence briefings: 'We have some big enemies out there'

President-elect says the intelligence briefings made him aware of the importance of making the right decisions because a mistake could be 'very costly'

Maya Oppenheim
Wednesday 18 January 2017 17:52
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The 70-year-old explained that he preferred his briefings to be short and succinct and for them to ideally be one-page if they are in a written format
The 70-year-old explained that he preferred his briefings to be short and succinct and for them to ideally be one-page if they are in a written format

Donald Trump does not have the greatest track record when it comes to intelligence briefings. Not only is the President-elect thought to have attended far fewer briefings than his predecessors, he recently suggested he was such a “smart person” that he did not need to be given a daily briefing.

But now the billionaire property magnate has taken time out of his busy schedule to hear some intelligence briefings on global threats, he has said he is deeply concerned about what he has learnt. Mr Trump said America had some “very big” and “strong enemies”.

“I've had a lot of briefings that are very … I don't want to say 'scary,' because I'll solve the problems,” he said in an interview with Axios on Tuesday.

“But … we have some big enemies out there in this country and we have some very big enemies - very big and, in some cases, strong enemies.”

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Mr Trump explained the importance of making the right decisions while in office, saying: “You also realise that you've got to get it right because a mistake would be very, very costly in so many different ways.”

The 70-year-old explained that he preferred his briefings to be short and to ideally be one-page if they are in written format.

“I like bullets or I like as little as possible. I don't need, you know, 200-page reports on something that can be handled on a page. That I can tell you".

In December, Mr Trump was reported to only be receiving an average of one intelligence briefing a week - a great deal less than his predecessors. This marks a significant break with tradition as President-elects generally tend to welcome the chance to regularly have access to the President’s Daily Brief (PDB), the most highly classified and closely held governmental document.

Mr Trump has previously explained why he does not need daily intelligence briefings.

“I get it when I need it ... First of all these are very good people that are giving me the briefings. And I say, ‘If something should change from this point, immediately call me. I'm available on one-minute's notice,” he said in an interview with Fox News in December.

“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 in the same words every single day for the next eight years.”

It is not clear how many intelligence briefings Mr Trump, who will be sworn in as President in two days, has attended per week since these remarks.

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