President-elect Donald Trump is expressing concern about what he has heard during his intelligence briefings on global threats.
“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.
“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.”
Trump seemed, dare we say, humbled by recent intelligence briefings on global threats. Dick Cheney’s friends used to tell us he was a decidedly darker, changed man once he started reading the daily intel reports after 9/11. Trump seemed moved by what he’s now seeing.
“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. “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.”
He offered a reminder many critics hope he never forgets: “You also realize that you’ve got to get it right because a mistake would be very, very costly in so many different ways.”
Worth noting: Trump said he likes his briefings short, ideally one-page if it’s in writing. “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.”
All this said, Trump was very much the Trump you know when it came to critics, the media, and self-reflection:
- In the opening moment, asked why he hasn’t been able to deliver on his promise to heal divisions in the U.S., Trump reiterated his promise “to be a president for all Americans,” only to launch, unprovoked, into his fourth-consecutive day of attacks on Rep. John Lewis, the civil-rights icon. Think about that for a minute: He’s less than 72 hours from taking office and he was still stewing about a member of the Democratic minority in the House.
- Trump told us his confrontational style is misunderstood. “You know, I’m not really a divisive figure,” he said, before pinning the blame for bad press and bad blood almost entirely on the media: “In the history of politics, there’s nobody that has been treated worse by the press than I have.”
- Asked to name a decision he got wrong or a regret from the campaign, he didn’t.Funny moment: When asked about books on his desk, he showed us “Adams v Jefferson” by John Ferling. We asked if we should read it. “I wouldn’t,” he said.