Trump complains ‘my generals don’t understand business’: report

Trump complains ‘my generals don’t understand business’: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness school deans call for lifting country-specific visa caps Bolton told ex-Trump aide to call White House lawyers about Ukraine pressure campaign: report Federal prosecutors in New York examining Giuliani business dealings with Ukraine: report MORE is concerned that his generals and intelligence agencies don't consider business and economics in their intelligence analyses, The New York Times reported Sunday.

“My generals don’t understand business,” Trump reportedly complained after national security briefings, a former administration official told the Times.


Trump has reportedly requested that trade and economics be the focus of presentations from security officials, forcing some officials to think about the economic angles of international conflicts.

“President Trump’s economic focus has been evident, including his emphasis on increasing NATO allies’ burden sharing and pressing allies and partners to do more in support of our common interests,” Garrett Marquis, a spokesman for the National Security Council, told the Times.

Trump has also reportedly spoken to intelligence and military briefers about costs of American bases overseas and the defense expenditures for allies, according to White House officials.

Although experts have not criticized the president's economic focus, some expressed concern to the Times that it might lead to other important international security issues being crowded out of discussions.

“If Trump tailors it to his needs, that is fine and his prerogative,” Douglas Wise, a career CIA official and a former top deputy at the Defense Intelligence Agency, told the Times about daily briefings.

“However, if he suppresses intelligence through that tailoring, that is not helpful. He is no longer making informed decisions because he is making decisions based on information he could have had but didn’t have.”

Trump has publicly criticized top intelligence officials in the past, leading Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingOvernight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine Democrats grill Army, Air Force nominees on military funding for border wall Bipartisan panel to issue recommendations for defending US against cyberattacks early next year MORE (I-Maine) to warn that such criticism from the president could have consequences for intelligence briefings.

“The problem is the message sent to agencies: ‘Don’t tell me information I don’t want to hear,’ ” King told the Times.