President Obama Says Donald Trump Will Be 'Flying Blind' Without Intelligence Briefings
President Barack Obama was in no joking mood during a recent interview on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
Trump recently told Fox News Sunday that he’d likely forego some of the meetings because he is a “smart person” who does not need “to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years” — a view, Obama said, that will likely change once the 70-year-old business mogul is sworn in as president.
“I think the president-elect may say one thing and do another once he’s here, because the truth of the matter is, it’s a big, complicated world. It doesn’t matter how smart you are, you have to have the best information possible to make the best decisions possible,” President Obama, 55, told Noah during an interview at the White House aired on Monday.
Trump said that while he would not attend every briefing, he would be “available on one-minute’s notice.” He added that Vice President-elect Mike Pence would attend every briefing along with his generals. However, Obama said the meetings are an integral part of running the nation.
“My experience with our intelligence agencies is that they are not perfect,” he said. “They’d be the first to acknowledge that, but they are full of extraordinarily hardworking, patriotic and knowledgeable experts. And if you’re not getting their perspective, their detailed perspective, then you are flying blind.”
He added: “Intelligence shall not be subject to political spin.”
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The president noted that Russia has, for decades, attempted to influence U.S. elections, adding, “What they did here, hacking some emails and releasing them, is not a particularly fancy brand of espionage or propaganda.”
“We were frankly more concerned in the run-up to the election to the possibilities of vote tampering,” the president said. “Which we did not see evidence of.”
Now, as Inauguration Day draws near, Obama said he is looking to “recharge” after leaving the White House.
“I think it’s important for me to reflect,” he said before joking: “It’s important for me to get back in my wife’s good graces.”