According to White House sources speaking to VICE News, President Trump has been on the receiving end of a special kind of presidential briefing twice a day since the start of his presidency.
VICE reports that the briefings have nothing to do with secret intelligence or national security. Instead, “the folders are filled with screenshots of positive cable news chyrons (those lower-third headlines and crawls), admiring tweets, transcripts of fawning TV interviews, praise-filled news stories, and sometimes just pictures of Trump on TV looking powerful.”
Some in the White House refer to the daily folders as the “propaganda document.”
Beginning at 6 a.m. every weekday — the early start is a longtime war room tradition — three staffers arrive at the RNC to begin monitoring the morning shows on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News as they scour the internet and newspapers. Every 30 minutes or so, the staffers send the White House Communications Office an email with chyron screenshots, tweets, news stories, and interview transcripts.
On days where there isn’t enough positive media content to feed the President, “communications staffers will ask the RNC staffers for flattering photos of the president.” According to one White House staffer who spoke to VICE, it’s a good thing for the country to boost Trump’s mood with the briefings.
“If we had prepared such a digest for Obama, he would have roared with laughter,” former senior Obama David Axelrod said. “His was a reality-based presidency.”
According to VICE’s report, the idea of boosting Trump’s mood with the daily briefings came from former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus — who both allegedly were in competition with each other to be the one who personally delivered the briefs to Trump. But in the weeks after their departure, the briefings became less frequent.
Featured image via Gage Skidmore