Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said that Trump “can’t be trusted,” and he sees no reason why the president should receive intelligence briefings during his remaining days in office or going forward.
“There is no circumstance in which this president should get another intelligence briefing — not now, not in the future,” Schiff said in an interview with CBS News’ Face the Nation on Sunday. “I don’t think he can be trusted with it now, and in the future, he certainly can’t be trusted.”
Schiff was asked about the matter after one of the nation’s top intelligence experts penned an op-ed this week calling on the incoming Biden administration to cut Trump out of the modern-era practice of providing former presidents with access to intelligence briefings and classified information.
In her op-ed, Susan Gordon, Trump’s former deputy director of national intelligence, made the argument that the president is a threat to national security.
“My recommendation, as a 30-plus-year veteran of the intelligence community, is not to provide [Trump] any briefings after Jan. 20,” Gordon wrote. “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.”
“I do not make this recommendation casually,” Gordon added. ”It is based on my deep understanding of threats to national security, on decades protecting our people and interests overseas, and my experience deploying technical means to counter our adversaries.”
Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) echoed both Schiff’s and Gordon’s concerns during an appearance on CNN.
“There’s a grave danger of him inadvertently or willfully revealing classified information that would compromise sources and methods,” King said. “And there is no upside. There is no reason that he needs to have this information.”
He continued: “It’s a courtesy that’s been passed on from president to president, but there is no legal requirement. And I think given his past history of being fast and loose with intelligence data, that ought to be an easy decision for the incoming president.”
President Trump's former Deputy Director of National Intelligence says Biden should cut off Trump's intelligence access once he leave office and Sen. Angus King says he agrees. "There's a grave danger of him inadvertently or willfully revealing classified information." pic.twitter.com/rJtFVrBhwt
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) January 17, 2021
These unprecedented warnings might well be heeded. Joe Biden’s incoming White House chief of staff told CNN on Sunday that he wouldn’t rule out pulling Trump’s access to the sensitive briefings once he has become a private citizen again.
“We’ll certainly look for a recommendation from the intelligence professionals in the Biden-Harris administration once they’re in place, and act on that recommendation,” Ron Klain said.