According to U.S. officials, Donald Trump is only receiving one intelligence briefing a week – something president-elects usually conduct almost once a day. It’s actually vice president-elect Mike Pence who is receiving intelligence briefings six times a week.
The President’s Daily Brief (PDB) is given to all president-elects once they become the official successor to lead the White House. It is not completely certain why Trump has chosen not to receive more frequent briefings by intelligence officials – presumably due to a hectic transition phase as he is busy building his cabinet.
In response, a spokesman for Trump’s transition team said the president-elect is receiving “routine” briefings, but did not specify to the amount.
PDBs are presented to presidents and their closest aides by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The information within them is gathered by various parts of the U.S. intelligence community such as the CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency.
While recommended, the briefings are not mandatory. They also do not have to be presented by intelligence officials and can be delivered by paper – a method president Richard Nixon preferred. President George W. Bush was notably late to briefings after his election victory due to the Supreme Court battle with Al Gore that delayed his transition.
While Clinton and Trump were afforded briefings after they became official presidential nominees – they lacked critical details. The briefings now given to Trump and Pence are much more classified and contain secretive information regarding overseas and covert intelligence operations.