At the Washington Post yesterday, Marc Thiessen reported on a study by the Government Accountability Institute that found President Obama has attended less than half of his daily intelligence briefings since taking office, based on his public schedule. This is a sharp contrast to President Bush, who reportedly rarely missed an intelligence briefing.
According to the 2011 and 2012 digests of Obama’s public schedule from the U.S. Government Printing Office, he attended 198 of his daily intelligence briefings between April 14, 2011 (the day he hosted the first fundraiser of his reelection campaign) and August 24, 2012 (the last day included in the latest GPO digest). By August 14, 2012, Obama had already reached 203 fundraising events since launching his reelection campaign, slightly more than the number of intelligence briefings he had attended during that time period.
Republicans have been blasting Obama for routinely skipping the meetings. Vice President Cheney sharply criticized the president in a statement to the Daily Caller’s Jamie Weinstein last night:
“If President Obama were participating in his intelligence briefings on a regular basis then perhaps he would understand why people are so offended at his efforts to take sole credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden,” Cheney told The Daily Caller in an email through a spokeswoman.
“Those who deserve the credit are the men and women in our military and intelligence communities who worked for many years to track him down. They are the ones who deserve the thanks of a grateful nation.”
White House officials defended Obama’s attendance record to Politico yesterday, with Jay Carney dismissing the allegations as “hilarious.”
“[Obama] receives and reads his [Presidential Daily Brief] every day, and most days when he’s at the White House receives a briefing in person,” National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor told Politico in an email. “When necessary he probes the arguments, requests more information or seeks alternate analysis. Sometimes that’s via a written assessment and other times it’s in person.”