U.S. President Joe Biden said his predecessor, Donald Trump, should not receive the intelligence briefings that are typically given to former presidents because of his “erratic behavior.”
“I think not,” Biden said when asked during an interview with CBS News if Trump should still be briefed. “Because of his erratic behavior unrelated to the insurrection,” he added, referring to Trump’s supporters who stormed the Capitol last month.
Former presidents in the past have been given routine intelligence briefings and access to classified materials. But Biden has faced pressure from Democrats and former national security officials to bar Trump from receiving the briefings because it might raise security risks.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said earlier this week the matter was “under review.”
Biden said he believes there is “no need” for Trump, whose second impeachment trial gets underway next week, to be made privy to sensitive material or given routine briefings.
“What value is giving him an intelligence briefing? What impact does he have at all, other than the fact he might slip and say something?” the president said in the interview, which was broadcast on Friday evening.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff last month said Trump should be denied access to classified material during his post-presidency.
“There’s no circumstance in which this president should get another intelligence briefing,” Schiff said Jan. 17 during an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “I don’t think he can be trusted with it now, and in the future.”
Sue Gordon, who served as principal deputy director of national intelligence under Trump, wrote that the former president’s intentions to remain in the political arena, combined with his foreign business entanglements, make his “security profile” as a private citizen “daunting.”
“My recommendation, as a 30-plus-year veteran of the intelligence community, is not to provide him any briefings after Jan. 20,” Gordon wrote last month in a Washington Post op-ed. “With this simple act — which is solely the new president’s prerogative — Joe Biden can mitigate one aspect of the potential national security risk posed by Donald Trump, private citizen.”
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