Former CIA director Leon Panetta said Wednesday that President-elect Donald Trump may risk being blamed for a terrorist attack on the United States if he doesn’t take regular daily intelligence briefings.
Trump is supposedly receiving an average of one presidential intelligence briefing a week . This number is fewer than almost all of his recent predecessors.
Panetta, according to Reuters, a former Democratic Congressman who served as CIA director and defense secretary in President Barack Obama’s first term, told the Arab Strategy Forum, a conference sponsored by the government of Dubai, that Trump’s aversion “can’t last.”
At the conference Panetta stated,
“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. 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 that attack would fall on the president.”
However, Trump refutes that claim.
First, Trump has his Vice President Elect, Mike Pence, receive the intel reports six days a week. Secondly, as Trump has said on Fox News on Sunday, he thinks the intelligence briefings are repetitive and that he already understands potential threats.
Trump stated, “You know, I’m a smart person. I don’t have to be told the same things in the same words every single day for the next eight years.”
Leon Panetta also warned that Trump should pay attention to the views of the U.S. Intelligence agencies that say that Russia interfered with the elections through cyber-attacks.
Panetta said,”When it comes to Russian interference in our last campaign, 17 intelligence agencies agree that Russia is involved in that effort. I think the President would do well to say we ought to find out what Russia’s role was, we ought to investigate it and ensure that it never happens again.”
The FBI does not agree with the CIA’s assessment that the Russian hacks were trying to boost Trump’s election and Trump himself has called the CIA claims “ridiculous.”
— Ross Maclean (@iamrossmaclean) December 14, 2016
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