US President-elect Donald Trump, who has courted controversy by eschewing the traditional daily intelligence and national security briefings offered to presidents and presidents-elect, has said he doesn’t need them because he’s “a smart person.”
“I get it when I need it,” Trump said in an interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News that aired December 11.
“First of all, these are very good people that are giving me the briefings,” he said. “And I say ‘If something should change from this point, immediately call me — I’m available on one minute’s notice.’ 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 — could be eight years…. I don’t need that.”
Trump also stressed that Vice President-elect Mike Pence does attend the daily briefings, and that his cabinet picks, including retired General James Mattis for secretary of defense and retired General John Kelly for secretary of homeland security are also regularly updated.
The president-elect pointed out that he planned to attend more briefings when necessary.
As of earlier this week, Trump had taken in four of the regular daily briefings, for an average of about one per week.