Trump comments raise new concerns about intelligence briefings (USA Today)
Trump told Fox News Thursday that his comment — which drew a firestorm of protests from the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia — was simply a sarcastic reference to Clinton's e-mail scandal. But the mere suggestion that a foreign adversary be enlisted in espionage against a political rival led Democrats in Congress to call on
Senate Minority Leader
Those briefings are expected to start soon. Under a tradition started by
Trump accepted the Republican nomination a week ago, but has not yet been given a briefing, said an intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the briefings. In order to be even-handed and non-partisan, the process doesn't begin until both major parties have concluded their nominating conventions. Even then it may take days or weeks to schedule and arrange them.
Questions, too, have been raised about Clinton's capacity to receive classified information, given an FBI investigation that found she mishandled classified e-mails that she sent to and from a home-based e-mail server off the State Department network. That investigation absolved her of criminal activity, but the State Department is conducting a review of whether she should maintain the security clearance that most former officials of her stature keep after leaving office.
But revocation of her security clearance would have no impact on her intelligence briefings, because they're provided to her as a candidate at Obama's direction.
White House Press Secretary
"The administration is confident that they can both provide relevant and sufficient briefings to the two major party presidential candidates while still protecting sensitive national security information," he said. He underscored that the same information will be provided to both candidates.
That evenhandedness could mean that both candidates get only a basic briefing.
“You can’t brief just one candidate," Rep.
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