Trump’s failure to stay up to speed on international developments could delay a U.S. response to a global crisis or cause an intelligence failure like the one before the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
Former President George W. Bush failed to act on intelligence warnings that terrorists were planning a major operation in the United States. Thousands of Americans died as a result.
An array of global hot spots could require a quick U.S. response. They include the Middle East, North Korea, Russia’s incursion in Ukraine and threats against its neighbors, China’s encroachment on sea lanes in the South China Sea and the ongoing cyber war among the major powers.
The United States is already battling Russia through proxies in Syria. Vladimir Putin is propping up Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad with direct military aid, while the U.S. is supporting moderate rebels attempting to overthrow him.
Trump’s National Security Adviser is retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who was sacked as chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency during the Obama administration.
In the meantime, Flynn developed close ties to Russian officials and appeared regularly on Russian television. During the campaign he spread fake news reports on social media that Hillary Clinton was involved in a child sex ring.
Former Gen. Barry McCaffery said he changed his opinion of Flynn’s fitness for the national security job because of Flynn’s “borderline demented” comments on social media.
While Trump has been blowing off intelligence briefings, he’s been waffling on whether he’ll give up his business interests. He remains a producer on the “Celebrity Apprentice” and will continue to be paid by NBC show.
At first, he said he would remain involved “part-time” but now says he will not be involved. He still hasn’t said definitively if he’ll stay out of his own businesses.
Trump raised eyebrows today (Dec. 11) when he told Fox News he did not believe reports that the CIA had found evidence that Russian meddling in the election was designed to boost his campaign.
“I think it’s ridiculous. I think it’s just another excuse,” Trump said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I don’t believe it.”
During the interview, he said Vice President-elect Mike Pence would sit in on daily briefings.
“You know, I’m, like, a smart person,” he said. “I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years.”
Trump said he would be available on “one-minute’s notice” if a situation developed that required his attention.