President Barack Obama has missed more than half of his intelligence briefings during his time in office, according to a new Government Accountability Institute (GAI) report. The intelligence daily briefings report indicates that President Obama only attended 42.1 percent of the meetings.
The Government Accountability Institute’s report on the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) also states that President Obama attended 42.4 percent of the intelligence briefings during his first term in the Oval Office and 41.3 percent of the PDBs during his current term.
The Presidential Daily Brief report was released just a few days after President Obama said the intelligence community “underestimated” ISIS and the Islamic State activities taking place in Syria, during a 60 Minutes interview. The comments immediately sparked backlash from intelligence experts, who voiced concerns that Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, was being blamed for the threat posed by ISIS.
The GAI report breaks down the number of intelligence briefings scheduled on the calendar since President Obama took office. Some months there were as few as four intelligence briefings scheduled, other months there were as many as 21 such meetings. In 2010, there were a total of 178 intelligence briefings on the President Obama’s schedule. So far in 2014, there have been 102 meetings scheduled.
An unnamed Obama administration national security staffer told the Daily Mail that President Obama typically takes the intelligence briefings material in a print form instead of actually attending the meetings. “Unless someone very senior has been shredding the president’s daily briefings and telling him that the dog ate them, highly accurate predictions about ISIL have been showing up in the Oval Office since before the 2012 election,” the security staffer said during the interview. “The intelligence community was sending pretty specific intel to us. We were seeing specific threat assessments and many of them have panned out exactly as we were told they would.”
The Obama administration national security staffer declined to share any specific information contained inside the PDBs, citing the need to continue to maintain security clearance protocols. The government aide also maintained that he is indeed “familiar” with the Middle East intelligence material that is sent to President Obama. The individual also revealed that the “finger-pointing” at James Clapper is not “sitting well” at the White House. “It’s starting to affect morale around here,” the intelligence staffer added. “Any time you’re hired by a boss to advise him about what to do in a high-stakes area, and he ignores you for a long time, it’s going to gnaw at you.”
What do you think about President Obama skipping more than half of the intelligence briefings held while he has been in office?
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