After two years of ignoring, and often belittling, our intelligence services, several officials who prepare and deliver the Daily Presidential Briefings, which Trump often skips entirely, are spilling the beans on his willful ignorance and hostility to any information that contradicts what he wants to be true.
Citing multiple in-person episodes, these intelligence officials say Trump displays what one called “willful ignorance” when presented with analyses generated by America’s $81 billion-a-year intelligence services. The officials, who include analysts who prepare Trump’s briefs and the briefers themselves, describe futile attempts to keep his attention by using visual aids, confining some briefing points to two or three sentences, and repeating his name and title as frequently as possible.
What is most troubling, say these officials and others in government and on Capitol Hill who have been briefed on the episodes, are Trump’s angry reactions when he is given information that contradicts positions he has taken or beliefs he holds. Two intelligence officers even reported that they have been warned to avoid giving the President intelligence assessments that contradict stances he has taken in public…In another briefing on South Asia, Trump’s advisors brought a map of the region from Afghanistan to Bangladesh, according to intelligence officers with knowledge of the meeting and congressional officials who were briefed on it. Trump, they said, pointed at the map and said he knew that Nepal was part of India, only to be told that it is an independent nation. When said he was familiar with Bhutan and knew it, too, was part of India, his briefers told him that Bhutan was an independent kingdom.
The ignorance is bad enough, but the willful rejection of anything that contradicts what he wants to be true is downright dangerous. And it goes back to what I’ve been saying all along, that Trump inhabits an alternate reality and spends nearly all of his time trying to convince the American public that his fantasies are an accurate representation of the real world. It’s impossible to overstate just how dangerous that is for someone with his button on the nuclear trigger.