Trump risks blame for attacks if he keeps skipping intel briefings – ex-CIA chief
“I’ve seen presidents who have asked questions about whether that intelligence is verifiable, what are the sources for that intelligence, but I have never seen a president who said, “I don’t want that stuff,’” Panetta said at the Arab Strategy Forum in Dubai, according to Reuters.
“If we endure another attack and the intelligence officials had indications or information regarding that attack and the president did not want to listen to that, for whatever reason, the responsibility for the attack would fall on the president,” Panetta added.
Panetta: Trump responsible for attack on US if he continues to regularly refuse intelligence briefings https://t.co/ExA9wjm3Ac— Katie Rucké (@katierucke) December 14, 2016
Panetta headed the CIA as director during President Obama’s first term. He also served as defense secretary and previously was a Democratic congressman.
Panetta’s remarks add to a chorus of mounting criticism over the president-elect’s choice not to attend intel briefings, such as from Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
"It is deeply disturbing that the president-elect has time for rallies but not for regular intelligence briefings," Schiff said, according to Reuters.
In a recent interview, Trump said he’s “a smart person” and he didn’t “have to be told the same things in the same words every single day for the next eight years.”
“I get it when I need it,” Trump told Fox News on Sunday.
The comment provoked criticism from the intelligence community on his dismissal of the briefings.
Trump's transition team, however, fought back against his critics and said he gets intelligence briefings at least three times a week.
“Every single day, he’s getting a briefing,” Spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters during a daily transition conference call on Wednesday. “Three times a week, it’s the actual.”
Most modern-day presidents-elect had intelligence officials brief them nearly every day on the contents of the President’s Daily Brief, the highest-level intelligence document produced in the United States.