White House suggests 10-page memo is ‘too lengthy’ for Trump to read

The president is busy watching Fox News.


The Nunes memo, released last Friday, alleges that the FBI improperly sought surveillance on a former Trump campaign adviser. But Democratic lawmakers say the Nunes memo is riddled with errors and omissions, and prepared a rebuttal memo to set the record straight. The House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously on Monday night to make the Democratic memo public, sending it to the White House for review.

Asked today if Trump had read the Democratic memo, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly suggested it was “too lengthy” for Trump to read and he will instead be briefed later.

Q. Has the president read the Democratic memo?
Kelly: “He has it. It’s pretty lengthy.”
Q. Has he read the whole thing?
Kelly: “No, no, I just gave it to him.”
Q. He’ll read it after this?
Kelly: “Oh, of course, yeah. We’ll get some people down to brief him on it.”

The average person reads a page in about two minutes, meaning a 10-page memo would take about 20 minutes for most people to read.


The Huffington Post reported that memos prepared for Trump “must be no more than a single page. They must have bullet points but not more than nine per page.” The New York Times similarly reported that “staff members are now being told to keep papers [for Trump] to a single page, with lots of graphics and maps.”

Trump himself told the Washington Post that he has little time for reading and demands that any materials provided him be “short.”

“I like bullets or I like as little as possible. I don’t need, you know, 200-page reports on something that can be handled on a page. That I can tell you,” Trump told Axios last January.

Trump apparently did have time to get familiar with the Nunes memo, which he falsely claimed “totally vindicates” him in the Russia probe.

But he seems uninterested or unable to dive into the Democratic document on the same subject.

The White House blocks out hours each day for “Executive Time,” which involves Trump watching cable news and tweeting.


CLARIFICATION: This article has been updated to reflect a corrected pool report. The initial pool report incorrectly quoted Kelly as saying “No no. It is quite lengthy,” which was a combination of two different Kelly quotes.