Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Although intelligence briefings are not required, presidents-elect have historically welcomed them, Reuters noted. (Photo: Getty)

'Deeply Disturbing': Trump Refusal of Intel Briefings Raises Concern

Reuters reports that president-elect, who has never held elected office, skipping most bulletins about national security

Nadia Prupis

President-elect Donald Trump is reportedly refusing to receive all but one intelligence briefing a week—meaning he's skipping most of them, Reuters reported on Friday.

It is unclear why the incoming commander in chief, who has never held elected office, is deciding not to take in the Presidents Daily Brief (PDB) bulletins more often. According to an anonymous U.S. official who spoke with Reuters, Trump has requested national security briefings including "routine" PDBs and other specialty bulletins on certain topics.

None include Russia or Iran, the official said.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, slammed Trump's lackadaisical attitude, saying, "It is deeply disturbing that the president-elect has time for rallies but not for regular intelligence briefings."

In an op-ed for USA Today, Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the ranking members on the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Relations Committees, warned that Trump could threaten the country's safety by skipping the briefings.

"The costs of a failed Trump presidency would be profound for the security of the United States and countries around the world," the senators wrote. "With each passing day, we grow increasingly concerned that President-elect Trump fails to grasp the solemn, serious responsibilities that come with being our nation’s commander in chief."

Vice President-elect Mike Pence is receiving about six intelligence briefings a week, the source told Reuters. The bulletins are the same ones available to President Barack Obama—and although they are not required, presidents-elect have historically welcomed them, Reuters noted.

Former CIA chief Leon Panetta, speaking on CBS' Face the Nation on Sunday, also expressed concerns about Trump's approach to the briefings.

"Frankly, one of the concerns I have right now is that this president is not getting his intelligence briefings," he said. "He's taken a few of them, but he's not getting them every day."

"If you're the president of the United States, you better be in touch on a daily basis with your intelligence briefers," he said, "so that you have an understanding as to...what's happening in the world, what are the crises you have to pay attention to, and what steps do you have to take in order to deal with those crises?"


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Sanders Calls John Deere Threat to Take Away Striking Workers' Health Coverage 'Beyond Outrageous'

"Workers must be allowed to keep their healthcare during the strike," said the Vermont senator.

Julia Conley ·


'He Isn’t Negotiating, He Is Killing the Bill': Ilhan Omar Slams Joe Manchin

"Thanks to the butchering of Manchin, Sinema, and the greed of their corporate lobbyists," said one critic, the Democrats' Build Back Better plan has been slashed down to just $1.9 trillion in spending.

Jon Queally ·


'Stop Line 5': Valve Turner Forces Shutdown of Enbridge Oil Pipeline in Michigan

"We are here to protect the water, land, and air that support all life, including our own. Line 5 poses an immediate threat to our lives and these actions are taken out of necessity and in self-defense."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Delay Is the New Denial': Study Confirms 99.9% of Scientists Agree on Climate

"It's pretty much case closed for any meaningful public conversation about the reality of human-caused climate change."

Brett Wilkins ·


Exposed: How Pfizer Exploits Secretive Vaccine Contracts to Strong-Arm Governments

"Pfizer has used its monopoly on a lifesaving vaccine to extract concessions from desperate governments," said the report's author, urging action from the Biden administration.

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo