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This article appeared in The Washington Post. It is about H.R. McMaster, who is Trump’s much-admired National Security Advisor.
In the midst of a detailed discussion of the challenges in Afghanistan and the difficulty of both projecting American strength and detaching from foreign wars, the following paragraphs appear:
Among his biggest challenges was holding the attention of the president. In classified briefings, Trump would frequently flit between subjects. “We moved very quickly from news to intelligence to policy with very little clarity on which lanes we were in,” said a U.S. official who took part in the briefings. “McMaster would act like the tangents didn’t happen and go back to Point 2 on his card.”
Trump had little time for in-depth briefings on Afghanistan’s history, its complicated politics or its seemingly endless civil war. Even a single page of bullet points on the country seemed to tax the president’s attention span on the subject, said senior White House officials.
“I call the president the two-minute man,” said one Trump confidant. “The president has patience for a half-page.”
Is it his age? Is it his very poor education in a private school? Or is it that he is not interested in foreign policy? Maybe if they were discussing the Miss Universe pageant or golf, he could stay focused for more than two minutes.