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[THREAD] I’d like to take a moment to discuss how unusual & disturbing these briefing preparations are. @maddow reads relevant excerpts from the new book by Anonymous in this video [1/14]…
I have not been in Anonymous’ position of briefing a President, but I think my experiences are relevant. I helped prepare & deliver over 100 briefings to Senators & Reps. I helped prepare & brief VP Cheney, & helped prepare a briefing to Pres. Bush that was given by Dir. Mueller
No matter how many times we gave briefings to senior politicians, we always met beforehand to discuss the audience, what their priorities were likely to be, & how to tune our message to focus on their particular areas of interest, & what they were most likely to care about [3/14]
We would discuss the “key take-aways” that we would want the person(s) to remember when they left, & honestly it wouldn't be unusual to focus it down to just a few major points we wanted them to come away with & remember. But those were MAJOR points. There was a LOT of detail
We would discuss how to craft the message simply & in a way that would get their attention, but would then make sure we backed it up with enough detail to show that we weren’t blowing smoke, & that our points were substantive & based on solid information and reasoning [5/14]
We would try to anticipate parts they may not like or believe, brainstorm any probing questions that the person may ask about each topic area, and would discuss how we should respond to each. We would try to anticipate areas they would care MOST about, and prepare answers [6/14]
In short, we respected them. We assumed the people we were briefing were intelligent, cared about their responsibilities and the U.S. government, and were people who would WANT to understand concepts & the details surrounding them so they could make informed decisions [7/14]
If they were going to spend their scarce time meeting with us, we wanted to make sure we did not waste it, and that we gave them enough information and answered enough of their questions to make them feel it was worthwhile [8/14]
Contrast that with the preparations Anonymous describes. They gave up on trying to give @realDonaldTrump information, or hoping he would make informed decisions. They knew that Trump didn't care if their points were substantive or were based on solid info & reasoning [9/14]
They continued stripping out more and more substance, eventually reducing briefings to only ONE key point, & repeating it over & over (and steering it back after each of @realDonaldTrump's tangents), hoping that Trump MIGHT remember that one single thing. They abandoned text
All of this reveals a few things, most of which aren't news: 1) Trump doesn't care about any of the subjects briefed to him. It's his tangents that reveal what he cares about. 2) Trump doesn't read. He gets explosively angry if he's presented with text & is expected to read it
3) @realDonaldTrump is not capable of understanding details about the subjects he's being briefed. 4) Trump is not capable of understanding BASICS about any subject being briefed to him. Not even 3 key points. They struggled to convey ONE [12/14]
5) The people closest to him don't respect @realDonaldTrump and have given up on trying to make him understand topics that are fundamentally critical that the Commander in Chief understand. They are just trying to minimize damage [13/14]
I helped prepare & deliver MANY briefings to top politicians & senior audiences across the federal government. I have NEVER seen any preparations anywhere CLOSE to what Anonymous described. The only conclusion: His inner circle has given up on @realDonaldTrump [END]
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