The election results were only hours old Wednesday when a sober team of intelligence analysts carrying black satchels and secure communications gear began preparing to give President-elect Trump his first unfiltered look at the nation’s secrets.
The initial presentation — to be delivered as early as Thursday — would likely be a read-through of the President’s Daily Brief, the same, highly classified summary of security developments delivered every day to President Obama. After that, U.S. spy officials are expected to schedule a series of meetings to apprise Trump of covert CIA operations against terrorist groups, the intercepted communications of world leaders, and satellite photos of nuclear installations in North Korea.
The sessions are designed to bring a new president up to speed on what the nation’s spy agencies know and do. But with Trump, the meetings will likely serve as tense encounters between wary intelligence professionals and a newly minted president-elect who has demonstrated abundant disdain for their work.
A palpable sense of dread settled on the intelligence community on Wednesday as Hillary Clinton, the candidate many expected to win, conceded the race to a GOP upstart who has dismissed U.S. spy agencies’ views on Russia and Syria, and even threatened to order the CIA to resume the use of interrogation methods condemned as torture.