Trump Stopped Receiving Presidential Briefings By Intelligence Officers After Capitol Riot, New Book Says

 Trump Stopped Receiving Presidential Briefings By Intelligence Officers After Capitol Riot, New Book Says

© AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta

In his closing weeks as president, Donald Trump ceased getting presidential briefings by intelligence officers. According to a book written by a former CIA official and just published by the agency’s Center for the Study of Intelligence, the briefings halted after the January 6 incident at the US Capitol.

John Helgerson’s latest edition of the history book “Getting to Know the President,” written from 1952 to 2016, and initially published in 1996, provides insight into Trump’s presidential intelligence briefings, which he described as “suspicious and insecure about the intelligence process.”

Helgerson adds that Trump received the briefing twice a week, and that “after the 2020 election, PDB briefings also continued for a period of time,” citing an interview with former presidential briefer Beth Sanner.

“When Sanner briefed the president before he went to Mar-a-Lago for the holidays, he commented that he would see her later,” Helgerson, formerly the CIA inspector general, writes. “The briefings were to resume on 6 January but none were scheduled after the attack on the Capitol.”

As throngs of pro-Trump protesters stormed the Capitol in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent Congress from certifying then-President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election, the uprising sent shockwaves around the world.

Trump attended a publicly advertised rally near the White House shortly before the Capitol incident, when he urged his supporters to “fight like hell,” warning that if they didn’t fight, “you’re not going to have a country.” Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s then-defense attorney and a leading proponent of election-related conspiracy theories, also spoke at the event, calling for a “trial by combat” while Trump supporters applauded him.

Five people died in the hours leading up to, during, and after the incident, and at least four police officers who defended the Capitol have committed suicide since then.

Following the incident, Trump was impeached for the second time and accused of instigating an insurgency. Alongside ten House Republicans voted with their Democratic colleagues, it was the most bipartisan impeachment vote in US history. In the end, Trump was acquitted in the Senate, but seven Republicans voted with Democrats to convict him.

Some Republicans in Congress, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, voted to acquit because Trump was no longer in office and thus could not be removed from office.

A request for a response from Trump’s spokesperson was not immediately returned.

The briefings have long been a mechanism for the intelligence community to keep the president and his senior aides up to date on crucial intelligence obtained by worldwide spy networks run by the US and its allies that are tied to American interests throughout the world.

Before Biden’s inauguration in January, Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, said Trump should no longer have access to classified information, adding that “there is no circumstance in which this president should get another intelligence briefing, not now and not in the future.”

As per Businessinsider, after Biden took office, he made the decision to bar Trump from receiving the intelligence briefings often provided to former presidents, citing his “erratic behavior” unrelated to the events at the Capitol. He had previously expressed concern that information could be mishandled.

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