WASHINGTON — The military and intelligence communities have been instructed that national security briefings for President-elect Donald Trump are to be restricted to 140 characters or fewer, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The decision was made following a briefing on the progress in Mosul, Iraq, a source with the transition said.
“I know more about ISIS than the generals do. Believe me,” the source recounted Trump saying in a meeting with his staff. He added: “Folks, I don’t read, OK? I don’t read. Reading is for losers. I’m the President, OK? I’m very very busy. Nobody is busier than me. Nobody. Believe me. I need this in a format I can easily understand and ignore. Fix it.”
Spokesperson Kellyanne Conway later held a closed-door session with the Joint Chiefs and the transition team, telling military leaders that anything longer than a tweet to describe the situation in Iraq, or how to resolve the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians, would be unacceptable. The source said the character length was important so that Trump could later write about it on Twitter to his more than 16 million followers, who have so far only been able to catch his reviews of Saturday Night Live performances and his constant bitching about the media.
Early in the campaign, many experts warned that a strained relationship between the military and the intelligence communities would be likely.
“This isn’t really all that surprising,” said Gen. Milley, Chief of Staff of the Army. “We saw this coming back in August when he told Fox and Friends that he wasn’t going to use intelligence briefings.”
Milley added: “Look, this is a guy that said he gets his military advice from watching ‘the shows.’ He primarily consults himself because he has a very good brain and has said a lot of things. It’s not a shocker that he won’t read more than a sentence.”
A source with the National Security Agency confirmed the agency began working on a classified social medium when Trump clinched the Republican nomination.
“All I can say at this point is that we are calling it ‘Sipper’ and the President will receive ‘sips’ of classified information,” the source said.