Trump says he doesn't need daily intelligence briefings that say 'same thing' every day

Sunday, December 11, 2016

President-elect Trump said he doesn't need presidential intelligence briefings every day because he is "a smart person" and doesn't "have to be told the same thing in the same words" every day.

Trump in an interview on Fox News Sunday that was taped Saturday was asked about reports that he is getting the presidential daily intelligence briefing only about once a week rather than every day.

"I get it when I need it," Trump said. "These are very good people that are giving me the briefings," he said, but added, "You know, 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 ... I don't need that. But I do say, 'If something should change, let us know.'"

Trump also suggested that Democrats are to blame for leaks to the press that U.S. intelligence officials think Russia used hacking to try to sway the presidential election for Trump.

"I think the Democrats are putting it out because they suffered one of the greatest defeats in the history of politics in this country," he said.

Trump provided no evidence to back his claim that Democrats were behind the leaks to the press about U.S. intelligence officials' view of Russian hacking. It's also unclear what the president-elect meant with the claim that Democrats suffered "one of the greatest defeats in the history of politics." Trump won 306 electoral votes to the 232 for Democrat Hillary Clinton. But Clinton won the popular vote by more than 2.6 million, according to The Associated Press.

The Washington Post and The New York Times in separate reports late Friday said the CIA presented evidence to some government officials that Russia used hacking in a bid to help Trump win.

"I think it's ridiculous," Trump said in the Fox News interview. "I think it's just another excuse" for Democrats about their loss.

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators, including Republican John McCain and Democrat Chuck Schumer, issued a statement Sunday morning saying that "recent reports of Russian interference in our election should alarm every American," and urged a thorough investigation.

The recent press stories come after a joint report in October by 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia was involved in hacks of election-related institutions such as the Democratic National Committee.

On Friday, President Obama ordered a "full review" of Russian hacking related to the 2016 election and of any other election-related hacking going back to the 2008 election.

But Trump has continually expressed doubt about Russia's involvement and he repeated that view today.

U.S. intelligence has "no idea if it's Russia or China or somebody," Trump said. "It could be somebody sitting in a bed some place. I mean, they have no idea."

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