White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed Monday that the Biden Administration is weighing whether to strip former President Donald Trump of his access to intelligence briefings. "I've raised it with our intelligence teams, or our national security team, I should say," Psaki said when asked about the access during Monday's press briefing.
Psaki said the decision to revoke Trump’s access was “under review,” and “no determination” had been made.
"It's something obviously that's under review, but there was not a conclusion last time I asked them about it."
Former presidents typically receive access to routine briefings and classified information when they leave office. The tradition is part of an effort to keep former leaders informed as they speak on matters of domestic and foreign policy, and meet with foreign leaders. However, several officials have expressed concern that Trump will exploit the information for his personal advantage.
In an interview with ABC News last month, former FBI Director James Comey—who has been highly critical of Trump since the former president fired him from his post in 2017—said former presidents are granted general intelligence briefings on a “regular basis” about “the state of the world and threats to the country.” Not every former president takes advantage of the perk, though, and it’s unclear whether former President Barack Obama continued to receive briefings while Trump was in office. Comey said Avril Haines, the director of national intelligence, “will have to take a very hard look at whether Donald Trump should be given information, including any information that might be sensitive to the security of the United States."
"There's no circumstance in which this president should get another intelligence briefing, not now, not in the future," House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told CBS's "Face the Nation" two weeks ago.
"I don't think he can be trusted with it now, and, in the future, he certainly can't be trusted."
Several intelligence figures have called for the former president to be cut off from the briefings, including Susan Gordon, who served as Trump’s principal deputy director of national intelligence for two years.
Susan Gordon, Trump's former principal deputy director of national intelligence added:
"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," she wrote in The Washington Post, especially since Trump intends to remain in politics, he "might be unusually vulnerable to bad actors with ill intent."