In an appearance on Tuesday’s broadcast of FNC’s “Fox & Friends,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki to react to a report that President Barack Obama missed up to 60 percent of his intelligence briefings.
That report published at Breitbart News on Tuesday revealed the president “attended only 42.1 percent of his daily intelligence briefings (known officially as the Presidential Daily Brief, or PDB) in the 2,079 days of his presidency through September 29, 2014.”
Partial transcript as follows:
KILMEADE: About the president missing over 50 percent of the intelligence briefings, why would he choose to do that at a time in a world when it’s so full of terrorist activity?
PSAKI: Well, I have no validation of those statistics. I have to say I worked for the president for six years. There are a range of ways that you can get your intelligence briefings on the road, in the White House and I know that he receives those whenever he can.
KILMEADE: So you don’t believe the statistics are right that say he was only at 41 percent of the intelligence against briefings?
PSAKI: Well Brian, I think the important thing here to note is that there is information the president receives on a daily basis. There is a range of officials in the administration including the president that make the decision designate a terrorist organization, to make the decision to increase assistance to the Iraqi security forces, that made the decision to do strikes last week. The president has been leading with the support of the national security team to take on this threat and take on this fight. And what we think we need to be focused on now is what we do moving forward.
KILMEADE: Just alarming because if you don’t know what you did wrong, how do you move forward effectively? And if the intelligence community was getting it wrong, what has changed? So let’s just –
PSAKI: I think everyone — let me make one more point. Anyone in the intelligence community will tell you who has worked in the intelligence community, it’s very hard to predict — nearly impossible to predict that an organization, that a force like the Iraqi security forces, would lay down their arms and not fight back. We knew this was a bad group. We knew this was a bad organization. We didn’t know there wasn’t going to be a fight back in Iraq.
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