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Photo: Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images

Stemming from his flair for showmanship and notorious inattentiveness, President Trump has — largely as promised — blown up usual White House norms on the topic of national security, often prompting incredulous reporting and dire prognostications from geopolitical experts on cable news.

The latest: Trump doesn't read his President's Daily Brief, each morning's collection of the intelligence community's most pressing information, and instead relies on oral presentations that are "augmented with photos, videos and graphics," per WashPost.

Two other explosive national security stories in the past week, via The Washington Post:

  1. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had to ignore Trump's request for military options against Iran, including plans to attack Iranian ballistic missile factories and sink harassing Iranian speedboats.
  2. Dozens of top White House officials lack security clearances, including top adviser Jared Kushner — uncovered after staff secretary Rob Porter left his position following allegations of spousal abuse, which were first vehemently denied by the administration.

The breaks with national security tradition stretch all the way through the first year of the Trump administration:

  • Then-chief strategist Steve Bannon gained a seat on the National Security Council's "principal's committee" last January while top military and intelligence officials were booted. He remained in that position until an April reshuffle.
  • The president's staff pulled out classified documents regarding a North Korean missile test last year while Trump dined with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago, turning the resort's terrace into an "open-air situation room."
  • Trump revealed classified information about efforts to fight the ISIS — reportedly from key ally Israel — to top Russian officials in the Oval Office.
  • The administration seriously considered a "bloody nose" strike to rattle North Korea, which analysts warn could risk a storm of artillery fire on Seoul, South Korea's densely-populated capital.
  • He routinely needled North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Twitter, branding him "Little Rocket Man."
  • He undercut his own Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on North Korean negotiations, telling him he was "wasting his time" and promising to "do what has to be done" regarding the regime.

Go deeper

10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

12 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios