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

CIA Director Mike PompeoMike Pompeo Sunday shows preview: Infrastructure expected to dominate as talks continue to drag The triumph and tragedy of 1989: Why Tiananmen still matters Pence slams Biden agenda in New Hampshire speech MORE on Tuesday praised President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says Putin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president 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.