Ex-president might not receive US intelligence briefings because of ‘erratic’ conduct, concerns about secrecy.
Donald Trump should not continue to receive intelligence briefings normally available to former presidents because of his “erratic” behaviour, President Joe Biden said in a US media interview.
“I just think that there is no need for him to have intelligence,” President Biden said in an interview with CBS Evening News on Friday.
“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,” Biden said.
Questions had been raised during Trump’s presidency about his ability to keep sensitive US intelligence secret.
Trump revealed classified information related to feared threats by the ISIL (ISIS) group to Russia’s foreign minister and US ambassador in a 2017 White House meeting.
US intelligence agencies were forced to repatriate a high-level spy from Moscow during the Russia investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
More recently, during the 2020 election campaign, Trump administration officials selectively declassified information to attack the president’s political opponents
Biden has said Trump was “unfit” to be president and in Friday’s CBS interview cited Trump’s “erratic behaviour unrelated to the insurrection”, a reference to the January 6 attack on the US Capitol by Trump political supporters.
Asked by the interviewer whether Trump should continue to receive top-level US intelligence, Biden said, “I think not.”
The full interview is set to air in advance of the NFL Super Bowl football game on February 7.
Biden also acknowledged in the interview Democrats will be unable to gain congressional approval of a $15 an hour national minimum wage as part of a COVID-19 relief and economic stimulus package. But he pledged to work with Congress to win enactment of a higher minimum wage down the road.
Biden confirmed he is open to negotiating with Republicans to reduce the eligibility of Americans earning more than $75,000 a year, or $150,000 a year for couples, for the $1,400 stimulus cheques Congress is poised to approve.
He had proposed sending the cheques to people earning up to $150,000 a year, or $300,000 for couples. Republicans had objected that people earning that much did not need federal help.