President Joe Biden said a CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell interview set to air before the Super Bowl that his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, should not receive classified briefings because he “might slip and say something” – a sign the White House’s review of the matter is likely to end in Trump having his briefings withheld.
Asked if Trump should get intelligence briefings, Biden said “I think not,” citing his “erratic behavior unrelated to the insurrection,” according to a transcript of the interview provided to Forbes.
Biden said he would “rather not speculate out loud” about his worst fears if Trump receives the briefings, but asked “what value is giving him an intelligence briefing? What impact does he have at all?”
Biden even went as far as to speculate that Trump “might slip and say something.”
While former presidents are typically afforded access to intelligence briefings, Trump has been widely seen as a special case given his rhetoric and actions during his time in office and, more specifically, after losing the election.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday the matter is “under review,” along with a range of Trump-era policies and other looming questions.
“My recommendation, as a 30-plus-year veteran of the intelligence community, is not to provide him any briefings after Jan. 20,” Sue Gordon, a former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence under Trump, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. Gordon argued Trump is a “potential security risk” in light of his “significant business entanglements that involve foreign entities.”
Trump’s well-documented distaste for reading reportedly carried over into briefings during his time as president. Trump’s former economic adviser Gary Cohn wrote in an email that the then-president “won’t read anything—not one-page memos, not the brief policy papers, nothing,” according to Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff. The Washington Post reported in 2018 that Trump “rarely if ever” reads the President’s Daily Brief, a document that provides presidents with the intelligence community’s most urgent and up-to-date findings.
White House Reviewing Whether To Revoke Trump’s Access To Intelligence Briefings (Forbes)
Intelligence Figures Urge Biden To Cut Trump Off From Classified Briefings After He Leaves White House (Forbes)