Biden and Harris get their 1st look at Trump's top-secret presidential briefing

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris
(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris got their first look Monday at the top-secret President's Daily Brief since winning the 2020 election. President Trump had delayed Biden's access to the PDB, the intelligence community's daily classified summary of secrets and world events, as he contested his loss. Biden was given access to the document in Wilmington, Delaware, while Harris viewed it in a secure room at the Commerce Department.

The PDB is tailored to every president's preferences, and Biden has now seen the top-secret briefings prepared for Presidents Trump, Barack Obama, and George W. Bush. Trump is believed to favor short texts and ample graphics, and he reportedly doesn't always read his print briefing, The Associated Press notes. Obama liked a 10- to 15-page document waiting for him at the breakfast table, before switching to a secured iPad. However it's delivered, the PDB isn't light reading or enjoyable.

"Michelle called it 'The Death, Destruction, and Horrible Things Book,'" Obama wrote in A Promised Land, his new memoir. "On a given day, I might read about terrorist cells in Somalia or unrest in Iraq or the fact that the Chinese or Russians were developing new weapons systems," and "nearly always, there was mention of potential terrorist plots, no matter how vague, thinly sourced, or unactionable."

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Biden will also be briefed on any CIA covert actions in the works, former acting CIA Director Mike Morell explained recently. "It's important for the president-elect to get this briefing ... because on Inauguration Day, these covert actions will become the new president's."

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