President Donald Trump may not have spent his whole life in government or near national intelligence agencies, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t picked up in a hurry, according to CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
From Conservative Post:
“I have seen 25-year intelligence professionals receive briefings. I would tell you that President Trump is the kind of recipient of our information at the same level that they are,” Pompeo told host Marc A. Theissen.
“He has the grounding for him to be able to grasp this information in a way that he can ask sophisticated questions that then lead to important policy discussions,” he continued.
“We’ll be sitting in a National Security Council meeting talking about a particular topic, and he’ll bring up something that I briefed him on weeks or months ago. It could be that he knew that before that.
“I’m going to take full credit for having been the source of that knowledge, but I’ve seen this time and time again,” Pompeo added.
“So it’s not simply the case that this is an exercise. He’s using it. He’s taking it on board, and I’m confident that our team is delivering in a way that’s delivering value to the president and to not just him, but to our senior policymakers as well.”
If there’s anyone who would know this, it’s Pompeo. A former Kansas representative before being tapped to head the CIA by Trump, Pompeo served on the House Intelligence Committee as well as the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
When asked what kind of “consumer of intelligence” the president was, Pompeo was equally laudatory.
“The president asks hard questions. He’s deeply engaged,” Pompeo said.
“We’ll have rambunctious back and forth, all aimed at making sure we’re delivering him the truth as best we understand it. He’ll ask questions from time to time that we frankly don’t have the answer to. We didn’t bring it, or we just — weren’t as complete as we need it to be. We’ll go back and within a couple of hours deliver that information as best we can.