Former CIA director Leon Panetta said on Wednesday that President-elect Donald Trump risked being blamed after any potential attack on the United States if he refused to receive more regular intelligence briefings.
U.S. officials told Reuters that Trump is receiving an average of one presidential intelligence briefing a week – far fewer than most of his recent predecessors – but that his deputy Mike Pence gets briefings around six days a week.
Panetta, a former Democratic Congressman who served as CIA director and defense secretary in President Barack Obama’s first term, told the Arab Strategy Forum, a conference sponsored by the government of Dubai, that Trump’s aversion “can’t last.”
“I’ve seen presidents who have asked questions about whether that intelligence is verifiable, what are the sources for that intelligence, but I have never seen a president who said, ‘I don’t want that stuff,'” Panetta said.
“If we endure another attack and the intelligence officials had indications or information regarding that attack and the president did not want to listen to that, for whatever reason, the responsibility for that attack would fall on the president.”
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