A Trump intelligence briefing, imagined

Both parties have expressed reservations about the other party’s candidate having access to classified inforrmation.
Both parties have expressed reservations about the other party’s candidate having access to classified inforrmation. AP

The government is arranging classified intelligence briefings for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to prepare them for the White House. This long-standing practice of briefing nominees is controversial this year: Sen. Harry Reid has urged the CIA to give Trump a “fake” briefing, while House Speaker Paul Ryan has said Clinton can’t handle classified material. But what would a Trump briefing look like, anyway?


“Mr. Trump, I’m Gene Smith from the CIA.”

“Smith, huh? Is that your code name? You know, I know a huge amount about the CIA, more than most CIA directors.”

“ Smith is my real name. Let’s get started with China and our assessment that Xi is much more aggressive than Hu.”

“She is more aggressive than who?”


“Well, I’d like to meet her. I like aggressive women.”

“I’m not sure I understand. Anyway, in China we assess with high confidence that Xi will continue this aggressive nationalistic ––”

“She sounds hot. No, I’m just joking. But, seriously, women love me.”

“ Xi is a man, president of China.”

“She is a man? China’s president is trans? I mean, I knew that. I know so much about China.

“Mr. Trump! We expect China will maintain its nationalistic claims in the South China Sea ––”

“Oh, don’t worry. I have lots of Chinese friends. So what do you think the Chinese think of me?”

“We assess with high confidence that the Chinese leadership wants you to win the election.”

“I’m not surprised. There are very bad reporters at completely failing newspapers who say I might start a trade war. But China wants me to win! So why does she want me to win, that transsexual president?”

“Xi is not trans! Xi would like you to win because alliance management is not your priority, and your presidency could cause an unprecedented decline in U.S. influence.”

“So the Chinese think that I’d be unprecedented? Who else likes me?”

“Well, North Korea has officially endorsed you.”

“They love me! And Russia loves me, too. Putin and I go way back.”

“Well, Putin believes that NATO might collapse in your presidency and that he would have a freer hand in Ukraine and the Baltics.”

“The Baltics, I know them better than anybody! Melania is from Slovenia. Some people say I leaked those amazing pictures of her to The New York Post. Why would I do that? Did you see them? Here ––”

“Mr. Trump! And you mean the Balkans, even though Slovenia isn’t ––”

“Balkans, Baltics – I don’t get bogged down in details. Now what about ISIS? I know more about ISIS than the generals do. But I’d like to hear your take. Are they supporters?”

“We assess that they are supporting you in the belief that you help recruitment. Indeed, we fear they may conduct a terror strike in hopes of helping you get elected.”

“Everybody’s supporting me! What about the Middle East? I'll probably do a peace deal.

“Well, sir, the Middle East is complicated ––”

“The Middle East is a complete and total disaster. If we have nukes, why not use ’em?”

“Sir, we only offer intel, not policy advice. But ––”

“Shouldn’t we just drop a few nukes on those Kurds?”

“In Syria, they’re our only effective ally. Oh, you mean the Quds Force?”

“Kurds, Quds, what’s the difference? If I give the order to bomb ’em, you guys can sweat the details. Call Mike Pence.”

“But you’re running to be ––”

“Anyway, tell me about internet security. I’m a little bored. How about we hack into the phone of Miss Sweden and check out her selfies? When I’m elected I’m going to have a whole team on that. …”

Twitter: @NickKristof.