Since taking office, Donald Trump had already dangerously abandoned the traditional Presidential Daily Briefing in favor of an off-brand intel briefing that he seemed to barely be paying attention to. Now, alarmingly, Trump has not received even that meager offering since the Monday resignation (or firing?) of disgraced National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
Shareblue was first to report that within days of taking office, Donald Trump scrapped the Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) in favor of a format of his own devising that the White House has had trouble explaining. Now, it appears that the new intelligence briefing relied heavily on disgraced former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, whom the White House was fully aware had vulnerability to blackmail from a hostile foreign power.
That certainly is one conclusion that can be drawn from a review of Trump’s daily schedule, which shows that he has not received “his daily intelligence briefing” since Monday, the day Flynn resigned.
This represents the longest weekday gap of Trump’s short presidency. The week before, Trump was briefed four out of five days; the week before that, three of five days; in his first week in office, Trump was briefed on Monday and Thursday, but also had a scheduled meeting with the CIA director.
The absence of intelligence briefings could indicate a disturbing level of reliance on the compromised and unstable Flynn, as well as Trump’s growing enmity toward the intelligence community. Trump has already shown a scandalous level of disengagement from national security, sitting out the botched Yemen raid from the residence, waiting a week to pawn off his “secret” plan to defeat ISIS on others, and promoting his daughter’s business interests by tweeting 21 minutes after the schedule said the briefing had begun.
Trump’s selection and retention of Flynn made America vulnerable, and now, his lack of any intelligence briefing whatsoever has made us more so. The White House press largely shrugged off Trump’s abandonment of the PDB, but for the safety and security of the country, they need to hold him accountable for this dereliction.