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    Trump’s resistance led intel agencies to brief him less and less on Russia

    Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump’s resistance to intelligence warnings about Russia led his national security team, including those who delivered the President’s Daily Brief to brief him verbally less often on Russia-related threats to the US, multiple former Trump administration officials who briefed Trump, were present for briefings and who prepared documents for his intelligence briefings tell CNN.

    As the White House denies Trump was briefed about Russia placing bounties on US soldiers in Afghanistan, which CNN has confirmed was included in the written PDB this spring, the question of what the President knew and when has moved to center stage. And it brings Trump’s aversion to hearing negative analysis about Russia into renewed focus.
    Multiple former administration officials I spoke to for my upcoming book, “The Madman Theory: Trump Takes on the World,” which will be published August 11 by Harper Collins, paint a picture of a President often unwilling to hear bad news about Russia.
    According to one former senior intelligence official, the President’s briefers had one simple rule with Trump: never lead with Russia.
    Early in his term, Trump’s briefers discovered that when his oral briefing included intelligence related to Russia’s malign activities against the United States, including evidence of its interference in US politics, Trump would often blow up at them, demanding to know why they kept focusing on Russia and often questioning the intelligence itself, multiple former administration officials said.
    “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 member of Trump’s national security staff told me.

    Russia material placed in written briefings that Trump often didn’t read

    In response, his briefers — who must make difficult judgment calls every day on which intelligence to highlight to the President — reduced the amount of Russian-related intelligence they included in his oral briefings, instead often placing it only in his written briefing book, a document that is provided daily and sometimes extended to several dozen pages containing the intelligence community’s most important information .
    But his briefers discovered over time that he often did not read the briefing book, leaving him unaware of crucial intelligence, including threats related to Russia and other parts of the world.
    When asked about CNN’s reporting that Trump is resistant to intelligence warnings about Russia, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe told CNN, “this is totally false” in a statement Tuesday. Ratcliffe took the job in May.
    According to one former senior intelligence official, the President’s briefers had one simple rule with Trump: never lead with Russia.
    Early in his term, Trump’s briefers discovered that when his oral briefing included intelligence related to Russia’s malign activities against the United States, including evidence of its interference in US politics, Trump would often blow up at them, demanding to know why they kept focusing on Russia and often questioning the intelligence itself, multiple former administration officials said.
    “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 member of Trump’s national security staff told me.

    Russia material placed in written briefings that Trump often didn’t read

    In response, his briefers — who must make difficult judgment calls every day on which intelligence to highlight to the President — reduced the amount of Russian-related intelligence they included in his oral briefings, instead often placing it only in his written briefing book, a document that is provided daily and sometimes extended to several dozen pages containing the intelligence community’s most important information.
    source: CNN

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