Administration

Trump ordered malts during a classified intelligence briefing: report

President Trump once ordered malts during a highly classified briefing on Afghanistan in an incident that has become a legend within the CIA, according to a report by Politico.

Just a few months after he took office, Trump reportedly insisted to a room of senior defense and intelligence officials, that they must try the malts at his New Jersey golf club while they discussed classified intelligence.

"Does anyone want a malt?" he asked in the meeting, according to three former CIA officials who recounted the events to Politico. "We have the best malts, you have to try them." 

Insiders say the incident illustrated to them Trump's apparent disinterest in intelligence briefings. Politico reports that some also view it as an insight into the start of Trump using intelligence information as a weapon in partisan battles. 

It's been reported that intelligence officials have had to carefully relay sensitive information to Trump in the past. The president reportedly prefers an oral report for his daily briefing rather than a written report, and former advisers have revealed they intentionally buried Russia news out of fear it would anger Trump.

"The president has created an environment that dissuades, if not prohibits, the mentioning of any intelligence that isn't favorable to Russia," a former senior national security staffer said in July. 

Intelligence officials told Politico they believe if Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wins this fall, he will have to heal a damaged relationship between the White House and the intelligence community.

"There is no question that Biden and his team will have an urgent task in restoring faith, trust, competence, and morale in the intelligence community," Former NSA General Counsel Glenn Gerstell told Politico. "It's going to be a huge effort."

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