President-elect Donald Trump has delegated the daily intelligence briefings to Mike Pence—an early sign that the Vice President’s role in national security is going to be an active one.
Donald Trump has passed on the opportunity to receive daily intelligence briefings on global security threats in the two weeks since his election — with Mike Pence stepping in instead.
The president-elect has taken only two classified briefings – a frequency that is lower than past incoming presidents, the Washington Post reported.
One senior intelligence official said he hoped the billionaire businessman would spend more time learning world affairs.
“Trump has a lot of catching up to do,” the official told the Washington Post.
Vice President-Elect Pence, however, has taken the intelligence briefing nearly every day.
President Obama was routinely criticized for taking a lackadaisical approach to intelligence and national security briefings. This situation looks as if it may just be for the duration of the transition or until Cabinet selection is complete. A Trump surrogate told those critical of Trump to “get a life.”
A member of Trump’s transition team noted the incoming commander-in-chief has been spending long hours in meetings trying to assemble his Cabinet.
“National security is Donald Trump’s No. 1 priority and I think he’s taking it very seriously,” Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said. “Look how many leaders he’s met with, how many phone calls he’s done, positions he’s filled. People who are being critical need to get a life.”
The briefings are intended to give the President a daily status on potential security threats around the world and encompass data from all U.S. intelligence agencies. Improving national security was one of Trump’s primary campaign issues, but some people are still not convinced he has the temperament to make the right decisions. Whether he does or doesn’t, having Mike Pence fully involved may make Trump’s critics on the right more comfortable.