President-elect Donald Trump has rejected a daily intelligence briefing, saying he is “smart” enough not to be told “the same words every single day”.
The Republican’s comments in an interview on ‘Fox News Sunday’ represent an unprecedented rejection of the US’s massive and sophisticated intelligence apparatus. He says he will only get the briefing when he needs it.
Trump also called a recent CIA assessment of Russian hacking “ridiculous”. Trump is reportedly only receiving an intelligence briefing just once a week - by contrast President Barack Obama has a briefing six days a week.
Trump said the people who are giving him the briefings are “very good people” and his Vice President-elect, Mike Pence, was also receiving the briefings.
Trump said in the interview:
“I don’t have to be told ― you know, 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, it could be.
“I don’t need to be told ... the same thing every day, every morning ― same words. ‘Sir, nothing has changed. Let’s go over it again.’ I don’t need that.”
A secret CIA assessment concluded that Russia interfered with the U.S. presidential election expressly to help Donald Trump win, The Washington Post revealed on Friday. They exposed information overwhelmingly embarrassing for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton
The finding alarmed US politicians, including Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain who said Sunday he planned to put a staunch Trump critic in charge of investigating the claim.
“It’s ridiculous,” Trump said of the CIA’s assessment, but didn’t rule out backing Obama’s order for a review of campaign-season hacking.
“If you’re gonna to do that, I think you should not just say ‘Russia.’ You should say other countries also, and maybe other individuals.”