Donald Trump’s interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday was by far the most substantive TV interview he has given since becoming president-elect on November 8th. Here are two major takeaways from the conversation:
No. 1 – The president-elect doesn’t buy the CIA’s conclusion that Russia did in fact have some degree of influence in our election process.
“I think it’s ridiculous. I think it’s just another excuse. … Well, if you look at the story and you take a look at what they said, there’s great confusion,” Trump said to Wallace. “Nobody really knows, and hacking is very interesting. Once they hack if you don’t catch them in the act you’re not going to catch them. They have no idea if it’s Russia or China or somebody. It could be somebody sitting in a bed some place. I mean, they have no idea.”
No. 2 – Trump isn’t exactly a huge fan of the customary daily presidential briefing. In fact, he’d prefer to not even to have one unless something significant has happened relative to the day before.
“You know, I get — first of all, these are very good people that are giving me the briefings. And I say, ‘If something should change from this point, immediately call me. I’m available on one-minute’s notice,’” Trump said to Wallace. “I don’t have to be told — you know, I’m, like, a smart person. I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years. Could be eight years — but eight years. I don’t need that. But I do say, ‘If something should change, let us know.’ Now, in the meantime, my generals are great — are being briefed. And Mike Pence is being briefed, who is, by the way, one of my very good decisions. He is terrific.
And they’re being briefed. And I’m being briefed also. But if they’re going to come in and tell me the exact same thing that they tell me — you know, it doesn’t change, necessarily. Now, there will be times where it might change. I mean, there will be some very fluid situations. I’ll be there not every day, but more than that. But I don’t need to be told, Chris, the same thing every day, every morning — same words. ‘Sir, nothing has changed. Let’s go over it again.’ I don’t need that.”