Former CIA Director Leon Panetta said Wednesday that President-elect Donald Trump risks being blamed for a terrorist attack if he skips intelligence briefings once he is sworn in.
According to Reuters, during remarks at the Arab Strategy Forum, a conference sponsored by the government of Dubai, Panetta said, “I've seen presidents who have asked questions about whether that intelligence is verifiable, what are the sources for that intelligence, but I have never seen a president who said, 'I don't want that stuff.'"
"If we endure another attack and the intelligence officials had indications or information regarding that attack and the president did not want to listen to that, for whatever reason, the responsibility for that attack would fall on the president,” Panetta argued.
In a recent interview with "Fox News Sunday," host Chris Wallace asked Trump why he receives the president’s daily intelligence briefing only once a week. Trump said he gets the briefing “when I need it.”
“I’m like a smart person,” Trump said. “I don't have to be told the same thing and the same words every single day for the next eight years. It could be eight years — but eight years. I don't need that. But I do say, if something should change, let us know.”
Trump said that Vice President-elect Mike Pence is being briefed.
“But I don't need to be told, Chris, the same thing every day, every morning, same words,” Trump added. “Sir, nothing has changed. Let's go over it again. I don't need that.”
Panetta, a former Democratic congressman, also served as defense secretary under President Barack Obama.