The Biden White House says the intelligence community will review any incoming requests for intelligence briefings from former President Donald Trump, as has been customary for former presidents, though he has not yet made any.
In general, requests from a former President are supported by officials.
“The intelligence community supports requests for intelligence briefings by former presidents and will review any incoming requests, as they always have,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told CNN on Thursday.
A senior administration official told CNN the former president has not submitted any requests at this point. There are many ways intelligence can be presented, the official said, something the intelligence community would formulate should any request come in.
Some detractors have been concerned about Trump’s potential access to classified information while he’s out of office.
Former Trump principal deputy director of national intelligence Sue Gordon wrote a Washington Post op-ed following the insurrection at the US Capitol in Washington that the former president “might be unusually vulnerable to bad actors with ill intent” once he’s out of office.
And ahead of Inauguration Day, Ron Klain, who is now President Joe Biden’s chief of staff, wouldn’t rule out barring Trump from intelligence briefings.
Throughout his time in office, Trump often expressed distrust and, sometimes, disdain for the intelligence community.
Trump’s resistance to intelligence warnings about Russia led his national security team to brief him less often about related threats. But he often did not read the briefing book compiled by national security briefers, leaving him unaware of major intelligence threats around the world.
Trump also repeatedly sided with Russia or gave the Russian government the benefit of the doubt despite clear intelligence indicating nefarious activity against the US or partners around the globe.
Trump fired the inspector general of the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, after Atkinson notified Congress of the anonymous whistleblower complaint. The complaint alleged Trump sought dirt on Biden and withheld US security aid from Ukraine — a complaint that eventually led to Trump’s impeachment. And then-President Trump installed loyalists into top intel roles.
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