Trump Will Be Allowed To Get Secret Intelligence Briefing From Biden White House Once He’s The Nominee

By Victor Winston, updated on March 8, 2024

As the 2024 presidential election heats up, an unusual development captures the nation's attention.

According to the Daily Mail, Donald Trump is poised to receive classified intelligence briefings despite facing charges related to mishandling classified documents.

For decades, presidential nominees from the major political parties have been privy to classified intelligence briefings. Instituted in the 1950s, this practice aims to safeguard national security by ensuring that potential leaders are well-informed about the international landscape. However, the upcoming election cycle presents an unprecedented scenario: Donald Trump, accused of mishandling classified documents, is set to receive such briefings as the official Republican nominee this summer.

A Candidate's Controversial Privilege

Historically, these briefings were uncontroversial, a bipartisan effort to ensure the continuity of national security awareness. Yet, Trump's candidacy introduces complex concerns due to his legal entanglements and prior actions.

He is the first candidate to face criminal charges for mishandling classified documents, which includes accusations of retaining classified materials after his presidency and defying government demands for their return.

Senior national security officials have indicated plans to proceed with briefing Trump on sensitive matters, even if a conviction is secured. This decision has stirred debate within national security circles, highlighting tensions between traditional practices and the unique circumstances presented by Trump's legal issues.

A former CIA deputy director, Mike Morrell, encapsulated the rationale behind these briefings:

The objective is to protect national security during the campaign by giving the candidates a deep sense of the national security landscape. Let me explain: both our adversaries and our allies and partners will be listening closely, extremely closely, to what the candidates say about the issues during the campaign, and saying the wrong thing could damage our national security.

Questions of Trust and National Security

Trump's past behavior, including an incident in 2017 where he shared classified intelligence with Russian officials, further compounds the anxiety surrounding his receipt of sensitive information. His charges under the Espionage Act, stemming from the retention of classified material post-presidency, underscore the severity of the concerns.

Critics, including John Bolton, a former national security adviser now at odds with Trump, argue that these circumstances should preclude Trump from receiving classified briefings. Bolton's skepticism reflects a broader unease, as echoed by a former official who expressed fear over Trump's access to sensitive information. "I'd be afraid about giving him stuff," the official remarked. "I mean, who knows what kind of riff he would do."

The Unprecedented Nature of a Security Dilemma

This situation represents a unique chapter in the history of American elections. For the first time, the question of whether a nominee should receive classified briefings due to their legal history and behavior has arisen.

These briefings, conducted by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, aim to equip potential presidents for their role without jeopardizing national security. However, the controversy surrounding Donald Trump underscores the difficulty in maintaining a balance between ensuring leaders are informed and protecting sensitive information.

This scenario presents unexplored challenges for national security procedures. Traditionally, there's been a commitment to making sure presidential nominees are knowledgeable about national security. Yet, concerns over Donald Trump's ability to securely handle classified information, considering his legal entanglements and past actions, have emerged.

As the summer convention nears and Trump becomes the official Republican nominee, the country is closely observing. The management of this sensitive issue could affect the forthcoming election and potentially establish new standards for evaluating national security and presidential qualifications.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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