Spin the wheel of presidential absurdity! Where will it land today? Let’s see. Nukin’ hurricanes, border moat, injecting disinfectant, dry-humping the flag, windmill cancer, invisible planes … and today it’s … ordering malts during a highly classified intelligence briefing!


President Donald Trump was in the middle of receiving a highly classified briefing on Afghanistan at his New Jersey golf club when he suddenly craved a malted milkshake.

“Does anyone want a malt?” he asked the senior defense and intelligence officials gathered around him, an august group that included the head of the CIA’s Special Activities Center, which is responsible for covert operations and paramilitary operations. “We have the best malts, you have to try them,” Trump insisted, as he beckoned a waiter into the room where code-word classified intelligence was being discussed.

The malt episode, which took place a few months after Trump took office in 2017, became legendary inside the CIA, said three former officials. It was seen as an early harbinger of Trump’s disinterest in intelligence, which would later be borne out by the new president’s notorious resistance to reading his classified daily briefing, known as the PDB, and his impatience with the briefers, current and former officials said.

So we have a president who doesn’t want to read intel briefs and regards anything negative about Russia as a personal affront. Yeah, we can definitely survive four more years of this.

The story is about Trump’s politicization of intelligence and the low morale he’s engendered among those in the intelligence community, but all we really need to hear about is the malts. Oh, and this …

Whether selectively declassified by spy chiefs he installed for their loyalty, or obscured from congressional and public scrutiny if it conflicted with his preferred narrative, intelligence became just another weapon in the president’s arsenal.

You don’t say.

And why oh why would morale be low when we currently have the most patriotic POTUS in the storied history of flag-humping? That’s a real puzzler.

Trump’s prevailing attitude toward the intelligence community, current and former officials said, has been that he knows better—and that the agencies therefore need to be constrained to better align with his priorities.

He has also repeatedly made clear his distrust of the intelligence community, from comparing them to Nazis before he was even inaugurated to discarding their analysis of Russia’s 2016 election interference in favor of Vladimir Putin’s denials. He often uses quotation marks around the word “intelligence” in his tweets to signal his disdain. And he has been reckless with classified information, from revealing highly sensitive secrets about ISIS to the Russians in the Oval Office to tweeting out sensitive images of Iran taken by one of the U.S.’s most advanced spy satellites.

Listen, we need a President Biden or we’re all going to die. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Donald Trump doesn’t know what he’s doing. And in a really urgent crisis, he’ll order malts.

There’s still time to help Joe. Let’s do this.

This guy is a natural. Sometimes I laugh so hard I cry.” — Bette Midler on Aldous J. Pennyfarthing, via Twitter. Find out what made dear Bette break up. Dear Fcking Lunatic: 101 Obscenely Rude Letters to Donald Trump and its boffo sequels Dear Prsident A**clown: 101 More Rude Letters to Donald Trump and Dear F*cking Moron: 101 More Letters to Donald Trump by Aldous J. Pennyfarthing are now available for a song! Click those links, yo! 

  • October 20, 2020