“The president-elect is missing out on a golden opportunity to learn about the national security threats and challenges facing our nation,” Morell said, “knowledge that would be extremely valuable to have when he takes the oath of office and when he steps into the Situation Room for the first time.”
Richard Nixon was the first president-elect to be offered the PDB after his win in 1968, but he is regarded by many as among the newly elected commanders in chief most hostile toward the CIA, routinely spurning agency analysts.
Priess, author of “The President’s Book of Secrets,” said Nixon refused to sit down with CIA briefers during the transition. To try to get the document to Nixon, intelligence officials resorted to dropping sealed copies of the PDB each morning with Nixon’s secretary.
After Nixon’s inauguration, his aides returned the briefing books still in their unopened envelopes, Priess said.
Nixon, however, met several times during the transition with then-CIA Director Richard Helms, and had significant background in global affairs and U.S. intelligence capabilities, having served eight years as vice president to Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Trump has yet to meet with Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. or other top intelligence officials — aside from an unofficial meeting with embattled Adm. Mike Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, who is rumored to be a top candidate to replace Clapper. Trump has greeted a parade of other officials auditioning for Cabinet positions, but also met with Indian business partners, television news anchors and figures in the entertainment industry.