December 2nd, 2008
08:45 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama briefed daily on intelligence

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Obama is receiving regular briefings, says McConnell"]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Barack Obama apparently has a hearty appetite for intelligence.

The president-elect is receiving intelligence briefings every day of the week, exceeding the six days given to President Bush, according to Michael McConnell, the director of national intelligence.

At an appearance Tuesday at Harvard University, McConnell jokingly wondered aloud whether "there's a little bit of competition" between the men.

He said he was amazed at how much and information the two men absorb and how quickly they do it. "The speed with which these two particular gentlemen absorb information and move on is astounding," said McConnell.

Obama's briefings typically last 30 to 60 minutes and cover a "great deal of substance on any topic you can imagine" concerning national security and threats to the country, McConnell added.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (52 Responses)

    If I were Obama I would be reading more than Bush as well. He is new, looks like he has desire to be great at his job.

    We are all hopeul.

    December 2, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  2. Free

    Are we surprised? Barack Obama is the most brilliant mind poised to become the president since FDR or perhaps earlier. This guy is a quick study, indeed, and we will find out just how smart he is the day after he is inaugurated. God Bless America!

    December 2, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  3. Larry

    Thank you CNN,this article is on the money !!! Obama needs to be briefed daily on intelligence,the Republicans said that when he started to run for the presidency.I think all of the Democrats need to be briefed daily on intelligence.

    December 2, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  4. Jen, Cali

    He HAS to be - Obama knows NOTHING about this subject. Same thing occurred during the primaries - Obama had 300 "specialists" send him daily, bullit-pointed memos with "what if" responses to questions.

    But never mind me - Obama will "snake" his way through! Actually, I hope he's successful at it - because what else do we have?!

    Actually - we could have had Hillary or McCain. But never mind - that' would just have been too logical for most people - you know the youth with "personality disorders"!?

    December 2, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  5. ...


    December 2, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |

    McConnell needs to stop covering for President Bush.

    He was given faulty intelligence on Iraq and instead of taking HIS OWN INITIATIVE to really figure it out, he blindly listened to the warmongers and did our country in with the occupation of Iraq. Don't call it a war because Ira

    The bad guy is still out there. OSAMA BIN LADEN and his extremist lunatics.
    Yeah, President Bush absorbs information alright–only information he want to hear.

    December 2, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |

    huh? what happened to my post?

    To finish my second paragraph, the last sentence reads: Don't call it a war because Iraq did not attack us.

    December 2, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  8. No Hillary = No Obama

    George Bush absorbs information with speed? yeah, right.

    December 2, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  9. Texas Teacher

    Well, if Bush has had briefings.... I suspect he wasn't listening unless they said what he wanted to hear.

    Obama is just getting up to speed at this point. Bush/Cheney have left a hell of a mess all over this country and the world! It will take Obama a long time to see the totality of their ignorance and greed! But I am sure that he will listen to all he can get to make the decisions that need to be made for the Good of this Country and the World.

    Notice I say Bush/Cheney.... Not Bush alone. I don't think Bush did or does much without getting his marching orders from Cheney and Daddy Bush.... sadly... Jr. is still riding Daddy's silver chair through life.

    Someday he just might be hit by a bit of conscience.... Nah.... Neither one of them has one... Bush or Cheney!

    December 2, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  10. ken

    dubya obsorbs the info and moves on but does he understand it?

    December 2, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  11. Mike Dallas

    Very telling that McConnell only gives a synopsis of Obama's intellectual curosity.

    Just like McCrypt, the shrub has to have a day off, while Obama goes for the week!

    Upon reflection, it would be better if the shrub took MORE time off!

    December 2, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  12. Michael

    Wonder what "Hussein" is doing with all the country's secrets?

    December 2, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  13. Yeah---but will he be able to keep Al Qaeda out of the U.S.

    George Bush has kept us safe from terrorists for the past seven years-
    Can Obama do it for the next 7 years through appeasement?

    Not likely. Buy your armored cars now.

    December 2, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  14. Tom in Delaware

    They both have a great fashion sense too...whoop-ti-doo.

    December 2, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  15. Franky

    "Obama's briefings typically last 30 to 60 minutes and cover a "great deal of substance on any topic you can imagine" concerning national security and threats to the country, McConnell added."

    How ironic!! We just finished a briefing over here...and by that I mean, a parlay. Ohh yes, and it can ANY topic you can think off, LOL!! I just gotta finished the touches and make sure is right...

    Isn't it cool tha we live in a country where we are so well informed?? Well...maybe except Iraqg that's for sure, LOL!!

    December 2, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  16. Drill, Baby, Drill - Idaho Falls

    Why doesn't Bush just step now now?! Let's get to work fixing his mess.

    December 2, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  17. Helen, VT

    I wonder if Obama can understand these briefings. He is in-experienced with a big mouth. He has to learn lot of things. This is ON THE JOB TRAINING and too risky for our nation.Americans have elected him but they will realize their mistake sooner than later.

    December 2, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  18. Dawn

    I give up

    December 2, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  19. IndyVoter

    The President, no matter what party they belong to or how much experience they claim they have (or don't have) should get some type of Intelligence briefing/report every day. The Commander-In-Chief should get briefed on world politico-military issues on a daily basis. Period. I don't care if they do in the tub, at the breakfast table, in the office, whatever. That's part of the job. Why is this news CNN?

    December 2, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  20. Craig a Texas Democrat


    December 2, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  21. Brittany

    Someone needs to rethink the coverage of issues on 24 hour news stations. Becasue hearing about unnecessary garb like how many times President-Elect Obama gets briefed about national security isn't important to me. I'm glad they're briefing him. Seeing as how he's the new President, he should know what's going on. Moving on now....

    December 2, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  22. Soccer Nana

    Jen Cali, get over yourself and your bigotry; Obama is the PE and will be sworn in as the President on 1/20/2009. Try as you may, you nor any other naysayer can compete with Obama's intelligence; you mock that which you cannot understand; except the fact that you are of average intellect, wink wink. Your "hillbilly" anger is depicted in your simple attempt to compose a comment.

    PE Obama is inheriting a complete mess; the Lame-Duck is simply biding his time; he can't wait until 1/20/2009 to be free of his responsibilities as Commander-in-Chief. The even sadder part of this is the Obama-haters choose to over look this fact and continue to bash the PE.

    The recession has been going on for an entire year; yet it came out yesterday, close to the date Dubya is on his way out; this was not openly admitted earlier in the hopes that McCain could win the election; he still did not , thank God. A lot more will come out about this present administration soon.

    December 2, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  23. Steph

    President-elect Obama is a very intelligent man who constantly seeks more information. You haters sound like you are hoping for another terrorist attack. You aren't sounding very patriotic! Obama has been elected by the people, get over it and support our new President!

    December 2, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  24. Michael

    It is shocking to me how many Americans are uninformed and have no idea how the world functions. I would like to ask all the idiots out there to stop blaming everything on George Bush when, for the most part, it is the fault of Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton forced banks like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to give out a certain number of unqualified persons. George Bush has done a fine job and it is my hope that history will remember him as the right man for a tough time in America. There is a reasonable explanation for why George Bush did everything the way he did.

    December 2, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  25. Soccer Nana

    So Helen, VT, please enlighten all of us as to who "trained" Dubya and all preceding Presidents BEFORE they won (in Dubya's case – stole) the election? I can't wait to read your reply.

    December 2, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
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