Presidential security briefings

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Written by: George Burns III


Earlier today, I shared an article on Facebook about President-elect Trump’s decision to only participate in certain security briefings.  Instead, it appears that Vice President-elect Pence has been attending the President’s Daily Brief, presumably at the behest of the President-elect.

Formally known as the President’s Daily Brief, the “daily security briefing” has been said to be one of the most important reoccurring procedures of the Office of the President.  Each morning, senior members of our country’s intelligence apparatus assemble relevant data and brief the President on situations of security, intelligence, clandestine operations, and all other top secret operations around the globe.

Without the information disseminated in these daily meetings, the President would be playing a global game of poker without only half of the deck.  According to an article published by the Washington Post, it is up to the discretion of the President-elect as to how to receive the President’s Daily Brief, but at this point, Trump is behind the curve.

For Trump, these briefings are especially important.  As a Washington outsider, Trump has no knowledge base on which to build his Presidency.  These briefings are a lifeline to this new politician, and will help him to for the full basis of his opinions of worldviews, which, by extension, will be the foundation of his administration’s reactions to global events.

Even under the weight of all of this, Trump has only receive a couple of these briefings.  What would cause him to make this choice?  Arrogance?  Disinterest?  An unwillingness to accept that there is knowledge out there that he doesn’t have?  Maybe it is possible that the Admirals DO know more than he does.

To the credit of the transition, Vice President-elect Pence has been receiving these classified briefings, so there is knowledge near the top.  Is it the responsibility of the Vice President to act FOR the President?  No.  In my opinion, they should work in tandem.  The President will often make decisions that only can be made by the holder of that office, a system designed under the assumption that all necessary information would be contained at that level.

Throughout the election, and since being named President-elect, Trump has exhibited several qualities that can easily be classified as less than Presidential.  Twitter rampages, castigating members of the media he has felt are not portraying him in a “fair” manner, and rampant narcissism.  His arrogance can be seen in many of his actions, as well as his blatant disregard of tradition and accepted norms.  As of late, his ethics have been called into question with his business dealings, and calls for him to divest himself from his holdings are increasing.  Calls which, at least for now, appear to be falling on deaf ears.

All of these signs point to a misunderstanding of the legal system surrounding the Office of President of the United States, something President-elect Trump does not seem to be interested in understanding.  The need to gather more knowledge prior to entering office does not appear to be a priority for our President-elect.  And that, to me, is the scariest revelation so far.

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