CIA director: Trump grasps intelligence at same level as 25-year veteran

CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoBeirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally Advocacy groups come out against Trump pick for ambassador to Germany US pledges million in disaster aid to Lebanon MORE on Tuesday praised President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE’s grasp of intelligence briefings, saying he has the same depth of understanding as agency veterans.

“I have seen 25-year intelligence professional receive briefings. I would tell you that President Trump is the kind of recipient of our information at the same level that they are,” Pompeo said during an interview with the American Enterprise Institute.

Pompeo pushed back on suggestions that Trump has trouble absorbing information, saying the president “asks hard questions” and is “deeply engaged.”

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The president receives a 30-40 minute briefing almost daily, depending on his schedule, Pompeo said.

“He has the grounding for him to be able to grasp this information in a way that he can ask sophisticated questions that then lead to important policy discussions,” Pompeo said. 

The Washington Post reported last month that Trump’s daily intelligence briefing is often structured in a way to avoid upsetting him. One official said that means leaving information on Russia out.

A separate report last year said the president prefers short, single-page memos that include visual aides.