Donald Trump has only made time for two intelligence briefings since becoming the president-elect, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
A team of intelligence analysts has offered to give Trump daily briefings since his election victory but so far he has turned them away, the Post reported. Mike Pence, on the other hand, has made time for the briefings every day since the election.
Members of Trump’s team say the president-elect has been focused on the transition and selecting the members of the administration’s Cabinet and said he still has plenty of time to get up to speed on the international affairs and security threats before he takes office.
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., who is also a senior member of Trump’s transition team, told the Post that he is not concerned.
“National security is Donald Trump’s No. 1 priority and I think he’s taking it very seriously,” Nunes said. “Look how many leaders he’s met with, how many phone calls he’s done, positions he’s filled. People who are being critical need to get a life.”
Critics say Trump, who has no foreign policy and national security experience, should be taking the opportunity to study security issues.
“The last three presidents-elect used the intelligence briefings offered during the transition to literally study the national security issues that they would be facing and the world leaders with whom they would be interacting as president,” former deputy CIA director and Hillary Clintonsupporter Michael Morell told the Post.
“The president-elect is missing out on a golden opportunity to learn about the national security threats and challenges facing our nation,” Morell said, “knowledge that would be extremely valuable to have when he takes the oath of office and when he steps into the Situation Room for the first time.”
Trump isn’t as far behind as some other recent president-elects in getting his intelligence briefings. George W. Bush didn’t begin receiving the briefings until Dec. 5, but that was due to the drawn out Florida recall, and he asked for them every day after that, according to the Post. Obama and Clinton were also avid consumers of the intelligence briefings, the Postreported.