On today’s post-Thanksgiving edition of Outnumbered, we discussed news reports that President-elect Donald Trump has only sat through two — total — national security briefings since winning the election. That’s well off the pace of his predecessors, critics note, arguing that such briefings are especially important for a political novice with very little foreign policy experience beyond his own business dealings.
Here’s a handful of details, including the insight that Vice President-elect Pence has been much more diligent on this front:
President-elect Donald Trump has had only two intelligence briefings since he won the election more than two weeks ago, intelligence sources told NBC News on Wednesday — a much lower number than his predecessors had and fewer even than Vice President-elect Mike Pence. A senior intelligence official cautioned that it was too early to gauge the significance of Trump’s sparse briefing schedule, given that he is in the middle of his transition process. But the news, first reported by The Washington Post, will likely fuel critics who’ve questioned Trump’s knowledge of foreign affairs and national security issues. While a team of intelligence analysts remains ready and waiting to deliver briefings to the president-elect, sources told NBC News that he has accepted them only twice. Instead, Trump has turned the briefings down to focus on meetings with potential Cabinet members, media executives and business associates. Pence, on the other hand, has received the briefings nearly every day, the sources said.
Is this controversy much ado about nothing, or fair fodder? Our conversation, via Right Sightings:
As I mentioned on the air, many conservatives have been vocally critical of President Obama’s security briefing truancy rate — including yours truly, on several occasions.
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