US President Donald Trump has apparently declined to read his daily intelligence briefing, a confidential document that lays out important information gathered by US intelligence agencies from hot spots around the world. Instead, Trump prefers officials orally brief him on "select intelligence issues", the Washington Post reports.
Breaking with precedent set by the past seven US presidents, Trump reportedly rarely reads the highly-classified President's Daily Brief (PDB) and prefers an oral summary. The lengthy PNB is based on material gathered by US spies, surveillance technology, satellites, foreign intelligence agencies and news sources.
However, one source told The Post that reading the dense intelligence brief is not the commander-in-chief's preferred "style of learning".
Former CIA director Leon Panetta warned that Trump's reliance on an oral rundown could risk him missing out on valuable context.
"Something will be missed," Panetta told the Post. "If for some reason his instincts on what should be done are not backed up by the intelligence because he hasn't taken the time to read that intel, it increases the risk that he will make a mistake."
National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton pushed back against the report saying Trump is an "avid consumer of intelligence" who "looks forward every day to the give and take of his intelligence briefings".
Daniel Coats, the director of national intelligence, also said "any notion that President Trump is not fully engaged in the PDB or does not read the briefing materials is pure fiction and is clearly not based on firsthand knowledge of the process".
However, this isn't the first time Trump's aversion to lengthy and detailed reports has come to light.
Shortly after the November 2016 election, the CIA offered Trump the same briefings that then-President Barack Obama received at the time. However, Trump declined and preferred to have less frequent briefings because he is "like, a smart person".
Intelligence analysts have also reportedly been instructed to keep their briefings with Trump short, limited to three topics and condensed to a single page. The president also prefers the information be presented using "killer graphics" and visual aids such as maps, charts, pictures and videos.
Trump's intelligence briefing is also supposedly structured in a way to avoid upsetting him. Last month, CIA Director Mike Pompeo praised the president's understanding of intelligence briefings, comparing his depth of understanding to that of 25-year-old intelligence professionals.
Social media users, on the other hand, were left horrified by the latest report on Trump's preference for oral briefings and little interest in detailed written reports as president of the United States.
"This is highly concerning... and completely believable," one Twitter user wrote while another said "the fact Trump refuses and/or incapable to read intel is f**king scary and crazy."
"He is unequivocally unqualified for the Presidency," someone tweeted.
"We have a President of the United States whose "style of learning" doesn't include reading. We are officially an idiocracy," another added.