Incoming U.S. presidents inherit institutions to help them gain insight into the capabilities and intentions of global competitors. These tools include the President’s Daily Brief, or PDB, which contains the nation’s most sensitive intelligence reporting and analysis.
The president-elect’s toolkit overlaps with that of the president. For more than 50 years, components of the intelligence community have delivered the top-secret PDB to the commander in chief every working day. Along with other support, the PDB helps the president remain the world’s best-informed person on a wide range of national security challenges.
A president-elect is normally brought into this briefing process early in the transition to support a smooth transfer of power and to avoid national security vulnerabilities on or after inauguration. But not this year. Joe Biden, despite his wide recognition as president-elect, is not yet seeing the PDB.