So if you bristled every time someone at your office brought you key information that was crucial to your job performance — and you did it so often that they eventually stopped giving you that information — you’d be fired, right?
Of course you would. That’s called being a below-average (i.e., stubborn and stupid) child.
Unfortunately, being Donald Trump means never having to say you suck at everything.
And one thing he very clearly sucks at is standing up to Russia, as BountyGate has now made obvious to the sentient world.
As the White House denies Trump was briefed about Russia placing bounties on US soldiers in Afghanistan, which CNN has confirmed was included in the written PDB this spring, the question of what the President knew and when has moved to center stage. And it brings Trump's aversion to hearing negative analysis about Russia into renewed focus.
Multiple former administration officials I spoke to for my upcoming book, “The Madman Theory: Trump Takes on the World,” which will be published August 11 by Harper Collins, paint a picture of a President often unwilling to hear bad news about Russia.
According to one former senior intelligence official, the President's briefers had one simple rule with Trump: never lead with Russia.
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) July 1, 2020
As with almost everything Trump-related, that’s both horrifying and unsurprising. We’re not talking about a toddler who prefers ice cream to spinach. We’re talking about a toddler the free world is depending on to make difficult, informed decisions.
In response, his briefers — who must make difficult judgment calls every day on which intelligence to highlight to the President — reduced the amount of Russian-related intelligence they included in his oral briefings, instead often placing it only in his written briefing book, a document that is provided daily and sometimes extended to several dozen pages containing the intelligence community's most important information.
But his briefers discovered over time that he often did not read the briefing book, leaving him unaware of crucial intelligence, including threats related to Russia and other parts of the world.