Has “fantastic” relationship with White House
During a forum Thursday, CIA Director Mike Pompeo debunked a prevalent myth about Trump’s engagement with intelligence briefings.
“How do you describe where the relationship is between the White House and the Intelligence Community?” Pompeo was asked. “It’s fantastic,” he replied to a room full of chuckles. “No, don’t laugh, I mean that.”
“I can only give you my observations,” said Pompeo.
“This morning at 10:30, I was in the Oval Office presenting the President his daily brief. I do it nearly every day. When I’m out of town my deputy is there, the team’s there, the Vice President is there almost every day when he’s in the country. They are voracious consumers of the product we’ve developed, they ask really hard questions — I think that’s a sign of a good relationship. I always remind people that when you stop talking, it’s not a good thing.”
“The relationship is in my sense fantastic (the word that I used) because the President is also completely prepared to hear things that run counter to the hypothesis.”
During the campaign, Trump famously said, “I get it [intel briefs] when I need it”, leading many to believe candidate Trump was disinterested in intel goings on.
Pompeo’s account signals a contrast between candidate Trump and President Trump.
A visual learner, it’s said Trump prefers briefings with a heavy dose of visual aids:
For a television performer, television appearances matter a lot. A recent Washington Post story recounted how, when Trump started getting intelligence briefings, his briefers were advised that he was “a visual and auditory learner”—in other words, that he should deal with as few words as possible and, instead, get “more graphics and pictures.” There’s no reason to doubt that, before approving the missile strike, Trump was affected by television images of wounded and dying children in the aftermath of a chemical-weapons attack, although that spark of empathy had been well hidden for months in his seeming indifference to the many images available of the catastrophic suffering in the region.
Regardless, if what Pompeo says is true, then that’s another media meme cast to the rubbish bin.
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