Trump Wants Intel Briefings Cut Up In Small Bites With Extra Ketchup

The Man In the High Chair

At the risk of insulting cranky toddlers again, we have yet another story to add to the Donald Trump Is A Cranky Toddler file: The Washington Post advises us Donald Trump gets the most out of his intelligence briefings when they are VERY BRIEF briefings, with lots of visual aids, and maybe also some interactive elements like pretty lights, a mirror, and a magic voice that says "The cow goes MOOOOO." Wonkette was unable to confirm these latter details; a White House source refused to comment, saying only that the president was teething.

Here's a reassuring portrait of Donald Trump, Intelligence Consumer. No late nights with briefing books, 'cause that's his special time with TiVo:

Most mornings, often at 10:30, sometimes earlier, Trump sits behind the historic Resolute desk and, with a fresh Diet Coke fizzing and papers piled high, receives top-secret updates on the world’s hot spots. The president interrupts his briefers with questions but also with random asides. He asks that the top brass of the intelligence community be present, and he demands brevity.

As they huddle around the desk, Trump likes to pore over visuals — maps, charts, pictures and videos, as well as “killer graphics,” as CIA Director Mike Pompeo phrased it.

“That’s our task, right? To deliver the material in a way that he can best understand the information we’re trying to communicate,” said Pompeo, adding that he, too, prefers to “get to the core of the issue quickly.”

Nice catch, Pompeo! YOU like YOUR intelligence information just the way the president does! It's a GOOD thing. The very BEST. Maybe, if Mike Pompeo is lucky, Trump won't wish him into the cornfield.

WaPo reporters Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker then review how Trump spits out pieces of what he's consumed, sometimes in the most unfortunate situations. It's a challenge to take him anywhere -- or, for that matter, to have guests over. There was that time he burped out a whole bunch of sensitive intelligence right on those visiting Russians, and then during his trip to Israel, he proclaimed in public -- proudly! -- that he'd been a good boy and hadn't said the word "Israel" at all to the Russians, so Israel's secrets are safe with him. The intelligence community is reportedly looking into developing some sort of spit-up cloth for information, to prevent the president leaking so much. And, of course, Trump's still not completely convinced the 2016 election was hacked by Russia, because maybe it was China, or the 400-pound guy in New Jersey again, or maybe it was YOU. Did YOU hack the DNC? Can you prove you didn't?

At least Trump is taking intelligence briefings, which is a change from during the transition, when we learned he could only be forced to sit down and listen to them once or twice a week, and then only when he could sit on a big plush elephant like he does for haircuts (we're pretty sure we read that somewhere). He explained in December he doesn't need a briefing every day, because "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 for the next eight years."

The good news is that now the president takes his briefings every day, sitting at his big-boy desk, and he's even starting to understand that he needs to know stuff about the big scary world beyond America, no matter how First he thinks America should be.

A president who I think came into the office thinking he would focus on domestic issues — ‘make America great again’ — has learned that you inherit the world and its problems when you’re president of the United States,” said Daniel Coats, director of national intelligence and a frequent participant in Trump’s briefings.

“One time he came in and said, ‘All right, what’s the bad news this morning?’ ” Coats added. “You can see the weight of the burden on the shoulders of the president.”

Coats even managed to say all that with a straight face, so be reassured: Our president are learning! Trump likes to have members of his cabinet with him for the briefings, so they can handle all the detail stuff and he can be presidential; he also likes having Jared Kushner handy even though Jared (still!) gets his own security briefings. While subject area experts come in when, say, a foreign leader is visiting, Trump doesn't like being lectured, preferring a conversational mode of learning, according to Pompeo, again telling the lying media that his boss is really smart:

It’s a very oral, interactive discussion, as opposed to sitting there and reading from a text or a script,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo added: “He always asks hard questions, which I think is the sign of a good intelligence consumer. He’ll challenge analytic lines that we’ll present, which is again completely appropriate. . . . It is frequently the case that we’ll find that we need to go back and do more work to develop something, to round something out.”

See! He's learning AND he asks good questions! Such a clever little fellow!

Apart from the details about Trump's fondness for visual aids and small bites of information, the WaPo story isn't too earth-shaking, apart from reminding us again that Trump is the biggest ninnyhammer to occupy the office. How's that for normalizing the dipshit? There's nothing quite as jaw-dropping here as in that Reuters story before Trump's Mideast trip where we learned National Security Council briefers strategically put Trump's own name in "as many paragraphs as we can because he keeps reading if he's mentioned," which sure makes us feel like the man knows what's going on. That story also noted Trump likes to look at a map while being briefed on foreign lands, with the explanation,

"He likes to visualize things," said a senior administration official. "The guy's a builder. He has spent his whole life looking at architectural renderings and floor plans.

We actually know how he feels. Whenever we read about "President Donald Trump," we find it much easier to get through by looking at a calendar to remind us that there will be midterm elections in just 18 months.

Also, booze. Lots and lots of booze.

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[WaPo / Reuters]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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