US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has received his first classified intelligence briefing during a meeting with national security officials. The briefing was delivered on Wednesday for more than two hours by career staffers from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The briefing was expected to cover major threats and emerging concerns around the world. The celebrity businessman became entitled to the briefings once he officially became the Republican nominee for president.
The meeting was held at a federal building in an FBI field office in New York City. Trump did not speak to reporters upon entering or exiting the building. In an interview that aired on Fox News just hours before the briefing, Trump said he doesn’t trust its contents when he was asked about the nation’s intelligence data.
He said if he were elected president, he wouldn’t rely on their reports, citing past “bad decisions” on the part of the intelligence agencies. “Not so much from the people that have been doing it for our country,” Trump said. “I mean, look what’s happened over the last 10 years…it’s been catastrophic.”
Trump was accompanied by some of his top advisers, including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and lieutenant General Michael Flynn, to the briefing. Intelligence officials are nonpartisan and conduct intelligence briefings for both Republican and Democratic presidential nominees.
Still even intelligence officials sometimes show their feelings. During an interview in June, CIA director John Brennan said that if necessary he’d provide a briefing for Trump. Yet it was clear from his facial expression that he was not happy about the prospect. “I will try to carry out my responsibilities,” Brennan said.