Trump Can’t Focus on National Security

Every day, at least during the week, the White House sends out a memo called the “Daily Guidance and Press Schedule.” It lets people know what the president will be doing that day. Today’s memo announced that President Trump would speak at 9:00am at the MCCA Winter Conference. Then, at 10:30am, he would receive “his daily intelligence briefing.”

It’s been noted repeatedly since Election Day that Trump is not all that enthusiastic about receiving intelligence briefings, and he turned many of them down, arguing that it was sufficient that the vice-president was receiving them.

President-elect Donald Trump said in an interview airing Sunday that he doesn’t need to receive a daily intelligence briefing, stating he only gets the briefing when he needs it.

“I don’t have to be told ― you know, I’m, like, a smart person. I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day,” Trump said in an interview airing on “Fox News Sunday.” “I don’t need to be told … the same thing every day, every morning ― same words. ‘Sir, nothing has changed. Let’s go over it again.’ I don’t need that.”

Trump is reportedly only receiving an intelligence briefing just once a week. The president-elect said the people who are giving him the briefings are “very good people” and that he was always available if something changed. He also said that Vice President-elect Mike Pence was receiving the briefings.

In any case, he was scheduled to receive an intelligence briefing at 10:30am this morning. I don’t know how long such briefings typically last but I do know what President Trump was doing at 10:51am.

Now, perhaps the intelligence briefing only lasted fifteen minutes. I hope that they discussed some important matters like what to do about the fact that Yemen has rescinded their cooperation in fighting against the al-Qaeda cell our country attacked on January 29th.

Yemen’s government has requested the United States stop ground operations in the country unless they have the government’s full approval after an anti-terror raid authorized by US President Donald Trump killed civilians, two senior Yemeni defense officials told CNN on Wednesday.

The Yemeni officials said the government had sent a firm message to the US administration condemning the January 29 operation that left one US Navy Seal dead along with Yemeni women and children, complaining of a lack of coordination with its officials.

Even if this intelligence briefing ended at, say, 10:45am, it seems Trump’s mind immediately shifted to the financial hit his daughter is taking because Nordstrom is discontinuing their relationship with her. His 10:51am tweet temporarily knocked down Nordstrom’s stock price.

A spokesperson from Nordstrom did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment. But when asked about the tweet on a call with reporters, National Retail Federation CEO Matt Shay said that “we’re living in a world with a different kind of a chief executive in the White House.”

“We’re learning, all of us, how to work in that environment,” he said.

I cannot how see how any of this is acceptable. I don’t know how this can possibly have any shelf-life.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.