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

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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”?

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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