White House denies President misses Intel briefings, the report dismissed as ‘amusing’
The president’s spokesman disputed a Washington Post article that suggested the commander-in-chief has not attended the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) ”more than half the time.”
The Post article states that during his first 1,225 days in office, Obama attended his PDB just 536 times equating to 43.8% of the time. During 2011 and the first half of 2012, his attendance became even less frequent — falling to just over 38%. By contrast, Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush almost never missed his daily intelligence meeting.
The PDB is a daily rundown of threats and developments as assessed by the national security community. It is a top secret written document that is read by the President and his inner circle of security advisors and is often accompanied by in-person briefing by intelligence officials.
The opinion column by Marc Thiessen, a former speech writer for President George W. Bush, cites research by the conservative Government Accountability Institute, which studied Obama’s daily schedule from his first day in office through June 2012.
Asked about the article Monday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the assertion was “hilarious” :
“He gets it every day, okay? The President of the United States gets the presidential daily briefing every day. There is a document that he reads every day when he is not – well, he always reads it every day because he’s a voracious consumer of all of his briefing materials. And when he is physically here, most days he has a meeting in his office, the Oval one – (laughter) – with participants in – his national security team, including obviously Tom Donilon and others. He also has regular meetings with…”
When pressed harder by the reporter, attempting to distinguish between the “physical briefing” versus a written report, Carney responded.
“This was a case of – I don’t know how far I want to go here, but I believe if you compare our foreign policy record with the one that preceded this one, we’re comfortable with that comparison.”
Carney was interrupted at one point and asked if the report was misleading and the Press Secretary stated that it was “amusing.”