Trump Stopped Daily Briefs but Biden is Getting Them

Eric

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Donald Trump is refusing to attend his daily briefs and has for some time. However, historically the opposing party's nominee also gets these briefings prior to the upcoming election and in this case he's apparently the only one reading them.

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From The Week
Joe Biden may not hold public office, but he still may be getting more intelligence briefings than President Trump.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has already started receiving briefings from the United States intelligence community, with the idea that if he takes the Oval Office in November, he'll already have been in the loop for a few months. But Biden has started receiving briefings while, simultaneously, Trump has drastically reduced the number of daily briefings he's getting.

It's not clear how often Biden is receiving these briefings, but even one weekly briefing would mean he's getting filled in more often than Trump is lately, according to a HuffPost report.
 

yaxomoxay

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Donald Trump is refusing to attend his daily briefs and has for some time. However, historically the opposing party's nominee also gets these briefings prior to the upcoming election and in this case he's apparently the only one reading them.

View attachment 2
From The Week

I hate those articles aimed at causing some sort of discomfort. Comparing the PDB with "intel briefings" is absolutely wrong. Like, 100% wrong.

A PBD is one daily briefing folder with is handed to the President, and a couple of high-level cabinet/agency/military individuals (CIA director, I believe Nat'l Security Advisor, possibly the VPOTUS and JCS etc.). It's usually a binder of a few pages (1, 2, 3, rarely about 10) with maps (if needed) and a few bullet points. Depending on the President and the issues the PDB can include some oral explanation, or a very quick presentation. I guess that the bottom line is that it's a very high level review of some sensitive issue. The goal of the PBD is to be skimmed/read quickly.

An intel briefing can be anywhere from a generic oral overview of the strategic chessboard to a very detailed written tome (remember, it's the intel community that decides how to brief someone that is not part of the chain of command; those with clearance can't ask for whatever they want whenever they want).
Whenever the POTUS is briefed on a classified issue, that's an Intel briefing. Trump (or any president) and his team probably hold tens of them a day.

Edit: if memory serves me right, Nixon used to read his PBD every single morning, first thing in the office. Johnson kept the folders unread even for days and read them at night.
 

yaxomoxay

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I also would like to point out this:

"We know from before, and I guarantee you I know now because now I get briefings again. The Russians are still engaged, trying to de-legitimize our electoral process. Fact,” Biden said Friday. “China and others are engaged as well in activities designed for us to lose confidence in the outcome.”

This is a very serious breach of confidence, and a very low blow because the Intel community can't confirm nor deny the linking of his statement (Russian engaged) to the PDB or Intel briefs in general because it would mean revealing content (or lack thereof) that shouldn't or can't be revealed. I am shocked that a former VP does something like this.
 

Alli

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I also would like to point out this:

"We know from before, and I guarantee you I know now because now I get briefings again. The Russians are still engaged, trying to de-legitimize our electoral process. Fact,” Biden said Friday. “China and others are engaged as well in activities designed for us to lose confidence in the outcome.”

This is a very serious breach of confidence, and a very low blow because the Intel community can't confirm nor deny the linking of his statement (Russian engaged) to the PDB or Intel briefs in general because it would mean revealing content (or lack thereof) that shouldn't or can't be revealed. I am shocked that a former VP does something like this.

I didn’t think there was really any question about this. Did anyone need a briefing to know that the Russians are still trying (succeeding?) to interfere?
 

yaxomoxay

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I didn’t think there was really any question about this. Did anyone need a briefing to know that the Russians are still trying (succeeding?) to interfere?

No, but he is validating his statement using (linking to) intelligence briefings. It doesn't matter if he's saying that the Sun is hot, the moment he links the statement to intelligence briefings, he's doing something wrong. Also saying "and others" is not helpful at all.
 

Alli

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No, but he is validating his statement using (linking to) intelligence briefings. It doesn't matter if he's saying that the Sun is hot, the moment he links the statement to intelligence briefings, he's doing something wrong. Also saying "and others" is not helpful at all.

Damn. One more thing normalized by Trump?
 

yaxomoxay

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Damn. One more thing normalized by Trump?

Well, I think I'll never like Trump's methods but from a technical point of view as the President he can declassify stuff at will, and he can discuss classified things at will. Now, said this, neither of them should do it for political points.

(I think that Kennedy did a similar thing in his debate with Nixon, I think something about Cuba. Kennedy mentioned something he was told in an intel briefing, and Nixon as VP couldn't talk about it. Something like that...)
 

lizkat

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What I have wondered during the Trump era about the intel community of the USA's close allies, "the Five Eyes" group (or among any other less formal intel cooperatives) is whether there have been times when there was a concerted wonderment over whether even wise to share certain intel at all with the US contingent... due to alarm that it might hit Trump's awareness at some random moment when he was in one of those swaggering "I can do whatever the hell I want" moments.

It seems like a really perplexing issue even to broach in general with any non-US member of an international intel cooperative endeavor, never mind to say directly "oh wow, think we maybe don't want yer boss to glom onto this particular bit right now do we?" to a US intel manager.

It's weird even thinking about it, but it's probably not that uncommon and not limited to concerns about letting Trump (or, the USA intel community) know of particular intel. It's not like mutual suspicion doesn't rear its head from time to time among members of any intel cooperative. When there was a proposal afoot to expand Five Eyes formally to six, to include France, during the Obama administration, mutual distrust between the CIA and French intel at that time ended up killing the whole idea.

Still, Trump's propensity to blurt out stuff he learned from intel has been problematic, so one can wonder if such incidents have ever laid a veil over USA's ability to keep from being blindsided in its conduct of external affairs. I suppose this may have occurred as well during the latter part of Nixon's reign when he was partly incapacitated by his preoccupation over Watergate and his heavy drinking at that time. The idea that stuff was maybe just landing on Alexander Haig's desk instead and getting shared as Haig figured appropriate, didn't seem all that reassuring to me. How does one deal with a head of state who may become a public narrator of official secrets to the wrong people or at the wrong time?
 

ouimetnick

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I also would like to point out this:

"We know from before, and I guarantee you I know now because now I get briefings again. The Russians are still engaged, trying to de-legitimize our electoral process. Fact,” Biden said Friday. “China and others are engaged as well in activities designed for us to lose confidence in the outcome.”

This is a very serious breach of confidence, and a very low blow because the Intel community can't confirm nor deny the linking of his statement (Russian engaged) to the PDB or Intel briefs in general because it would mean revealing content (or lack thereof) that shouldn't or can't be revealed. I am shocked that a former VP does something like this.

What’s wrong with Biden confirming what he believed? As long as he isn’t divulging any specific confidential details about it, why can’t he at least confirm what the media is reporting? It seems to me that Trump doesn’t read or doesn’t give a damn, and that should be disqualifying right there. I thought he swore to protect the country sonar all enemies foreign and domestic..???
 

ouimetnick

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He specifically linked his knowledge to intel briefings. He didn’t simply talk as if it were his opinion. It’s very wrong.

Very wrong by who’s standards? As long as it’s not putting anyone’s life in danger, what’s the problem? Members of Congress have already confirmed the intelligence to be true as well as several national security people.
 

yaxomoxay

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Very wrong by who’s standards?

how about that standard known as “things learned in a classified setting shall not be discussed”?

As long as it’s not putting anyone’s life in danger, what’s the problem?

And you know this... how?

Members of Congress have already confirmed the intelligence to be true as well as several national security people.

look, thankfully what he said is likely general enough to not cause any issue. This doesn’t make linking one’s knowledge to alleged intel briefings to score political points any better. If you go to an intel briefing and the CIA tells you that the Sun is hot, you can’t disclose that you learned about the Sun’s heat in an intel briefing, unless you’re authorized to declassify. Biden did a shitty thing. End of the world? No, we all know the information. Still shitty? Yes.
 

Yoused

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look, thankfully what he said is likely general enough to not cause any issue
Joe Biden has already been in the inner circle, so he is pretty well-versed in what to not say. Not to mention that he has an entourage of dudes in black, some of whom may be able to advise him on these matters. Luck has little to do with it.
 

yaxomoxay

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Joe Biden has already been in the inner circle, so he is pretty well-versed in what to not say. Not to mention that he has an entourage of dudes in black, some of whom may be able to advise him on these matters. Luck has little to do with it.

Again, doesn’t change that it was shitty.
 

yaxomoxay

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Point possibly taken, so now the scale has tilted against Biden in my book by a quarter of an ounce of shit. So far, I'm still inclined to vote for him by an overall guesstimate of around five trillion long tons on Trump's side.

lol. Don’t think I was saying to change your vote 😂
 
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