Classified Memo Tells Intelligence Analysts to Keep Trump’s Daily Brief Short
Boil the political back and forth down to just the facts and you can see that Trump is seeing and reading a lot less intelligence info than our last president did. Judging from his tendency to intuit everything through the lens of right wing TV pundits he is probably comprehending a lot less than our former president as well.
The guidance states that analysts should only include facts that support their analyses, and it explains that topics presented in the PDB will not be covered from different perspectives in separate briefings. That means that dissenting or conflicting views might not be presented to Trump. Obama’s PDB did include dissenting information, when appropriate, according to a former top CIA official with direct knowledge of the PDB.
Presumably, the memo’s guidelines—less material, less nuance, less dissent—were developed in response to Trump’s reactions to the materials he has received. If the memo does not reflect direct instructions from Trump or his aides to the intelligence community, it is a reflection of the assumptions senior intelligence officials have developed about how best to present information to Trump.
“These issues about the overall length of the book as well as whether there are going to be conflicting interpretations—that unfortunately sounds like…bowing to the reality of a president with a short attention span and little ability to deal with ambiguities,” says Paul Pillar, a former senior CIA official who is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and Georgetown University.