Trump has claimed he won’t be briefed by intelligence on a daily basis and instead will read reports if he needs them. Why does the President need regular contact with his intelligence services? A few reasons, which include: having a healthy working relationship with them and to actually know something about what is happening in both the U.S. and around the world. History set the precedent for these regular briefings. Go back to the Kennedy Administration and one of the biggest CIA blunders in history, the Bay of Pigs. The President didn’t have regular contact with intelligence and the result was a complete disaster for everyone involved. Regular briefings helped resolve the Cuban Missile Crisis and in a peaceful way.
With Trump’s regular twitter spasms, one can’t help but wonder if he will continue to run his mouth on international affairs without being briefed on them. He would certainly end up looking quite foolish and on a regular basis. Trump however may surprise people and not in a good way. The Trump populist strategy was just that, a strategy, a deliberate attempt to make himself appear as more connected to the people and not like a “traditional politician.” It won him the White House and his decision to not have briefings may again be a strategy designed to deliberately give him the appearance of distance from his intelligence agencies in order to deny his knowledge of their activities. History again tells us why this is a bad idea, take any number of examples from the Cold War. Perhaps in addition to regular intelligence briefings, Trump should also have regular history lessons. It might help him avoid making history for the wrong reasons. One can hope.