Sunday, April 28, 2019

the last book I ever read (The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump by Andrew G. McCabe, excerpt seven)

from The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump by Andrew G. McCabe:

Based on these signals, and on my knowledge that senior staff from other agencies would be in the briefing, I decided that I would delegate the job. The briefers returned to the Hoover building when the meeting was over, and one of them came to my office to tell me how it went. This is standard practice. Briefings to any president are assiduously prepared, with oversight from the director as needed, and if the director is not present, the senior official in attendance comes back to the director to report. This is because, in normal circumstances, the president would provide direction—assign us a task, request more information, or ask questions that the director should be aware of.

But when this official came into my office, where a number of us had gathered, he was dumbfounded. I remember asking, How did it go? and watching him shake his head in response, then explain that the briefer on the dachas spoke for no more than a few minutes. For practically the whole rest of the meeting, the president talked nonstop. That day, North Korea was on the president’s mind. North Korea had recently conducted a test of an intercontinental ballistic missle, potentially capable of striking the U.S.—Kim Jong-un had called the rest a Fourth of July “gift” to “the arrogant Americans.” But the president did not believe it had happened. The president thought it was a hoax. He thought that North Korea did not have the capability to launch such missiles. He said he knew this because Vladimir Putin had told him so.

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