Marc Thiessen, the former Bush speechwriter and torture apologist who was inexplicably given a spot as a columnist for the Washington Post, is behind the currently popular lie that President Obama has “skipped more than half of his daily intelligence briefings.” Glenn Kessler, writing at the same paper, shows why this is nonsense:
The notion that Obama has skipped his intelligence briefings was promoted by a right-leaning research group called the Government Accountability Institute, which published a report detailing that the president’s daily calendar shows Obama receiving an in-person briefing on the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) 43.8 percent of his time in office. (The percentage dropped from a high of 48.8 percent in 2010 to 38.2 percent through May of 2012.)
Marc Thiessen, a former Bush speechwriter who writes an opinion column for The Washington Post, then drew attention to what he called the “startling new statistics” in the report. His column on the subject is cited as the source in the American Crossroads ad.
That column also includes the White House’s response — that Obama reads his PDB every day, but he does not always require an in-person briefing every day. The White House argument is that this is how Obama structured his White House operation, so it is specious to say he has “skipped” a meeting that was not actually scheduled.
Kessler points out that each president has had a different manner of receiving the daily intelligence briefing from the CIA. George W. Bush preferred to have a CIA official give him a verbal version of it, so he had such meetings every morning. Obama prefers to read the daily briefing and then ask follow up questions of the CIA when he has such questions. But every single morning, he receives the briefing and so does the senior national security staff, which meets to discuss it. Just another lie.
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