Early Tuesday morning Kanye West was spotted arriving at Trump Tower for a meeting with the President-elect. It is unclear what the reason was for the meeting. According to The New York Times, “‘We’ve been friends for a long time,’ Mr. Trump told reporters. Asked what he and Mr. West talked about, he responded: “Life. We discussed life.'”
Why are meetings with music moguls being prioritized over intelligence briefings regarding U.S. national security? Trump made quite a stir this week when, in addition to claiming that the CIA analysis indicating that the Russians worked to disrupt the U.S. election was ‘ridiculous,’ said about his national security briefings,“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.”
While Trump did assure audiences that he would receive briefings on an as needed basis, and that his vice president, Mike Pence, would continue to be briefed daily, many are alarmed by this statement.
Why are meetings with music moguls being prioritized over intelligence briefings regarding U.S. national security?
This claim demonstrates a level of detachment from the CIA and a potentially tumultuous relationship between the White House and the U.S. intelligence community, which should be working together. Statements such as these are viewed by critics as an attempt to undermine the intelligence community tasked with keeping us safe — and preventing another attack on American soil.
During the GOP primaries, Trump attacked Jeb Bush, accusing his brother, former President George W. Bush, of having received warnings from the CIA regarding an attack and not acting:
“His brother could have made some mistakes with respect to the actual hit because they did know it was coming and George Tenet, the head of the CIA, told them it was coming.”
While there doesn’t appear to have been a general consensus as to when and where the attacks would happen, President Bush did receive a briefing document on August 6, 2001, titled, “Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US.” This is but one example of the importance of the U.S. president paying close attention to the intelligence community, and another example of Trump saying one thing and doing another.
President Obama spoke out against Trump’s behavior in an interview with Trevor Noah, claiming “If you’re not getting [the intelligence community’s] detailed perspective, then you are flying blind.”
Image Source: NBC News