It has been a little over a week since the FBI executed a search warrant on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach.
Douglas London, a former senior CIA Operations Officer, who worked with intelligence briefers for the president, explained that they were forced to use "unorthodox" methods for Trump to ensure he didn't put classified documents in his pockets.
"As you know, intelligence briefings for the president have to range a wide array of complex issues," said London. "The key is getting the president's attention. You have to adopt a style that will secure the president's interest and have him focus on the matter. It was hard to do that with President Trump, particularly without trying to compromise the integrity of the product itself. We found he responded very well to images, pictures, videos, that sort of thing."
He explained that the counter to that is that the former president would get "too interested" in the briefing and how he might respond.
"We try to impart those things and sometimes had to use a very catchy-headline approach, which is not really orthodox for us, to get him to focus without him wanting to pull products, such as images, which we would try to include on a tablet, so it was not something he could take — or on large poster size documents, that, again, are hard to put in your pocket."
They would also give briefers some of the questions they thought would be asked and sometimes the questions they'd anticipated Trump would ask would be, "wow, can I have this?"
"But often enough, it was really keeping him on target. There was one particular briefing we had on a sensitive terrorism issue where the president would ride off on a tangent and talk about ordering food or milkshakes in this meeting. So, sometimes the briefers would leverage the conversation to move him off of that, or promised the president we would follow up with him and address his questions," he continued.
He also confirmed previous reports that Trump had an obsession with Osama bin Laden's son, "who wasn't really a target," but was someone Trump recognized, and thus wanted to capture or kill over more serious terrorists. London noted there were also problems with Iran and counterterrorism issues coming from Iran that Trump would latch onto because he was trying to vilify the country.
"But some of his comments to support his vilification would tread closely to information we knew that we didn't want the Iranians to realize we had access to," he concluded.