WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden does not believe his predecessor Donald Trump should have access to intelligence briefings because of his “erratic behavior” and the concern he might share information, the Democrat said in an interview on Friday.
“I think not,” Biden said when asked by CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell if Trump, a Republican, should get the briefings.
Former U.S. presidents traditionally receive some intelligence briefings even after they have left office.
Trump frequently denigrated the intelligence community and was not known for taking long briefings during his White House tenure. He also called into question U.S. intelligence that showed Russia had intervened in the 2016 election.
The Republican is facing his second impeachment trial next week, this time charged with sparking an insurrection at the Capitol by calling on people to “fight” the results of the Nov. 3 election that he lost.
Biden said his view that Trump should not receive the briefings was not connected to the Capitol riots.
“Because of his erratic behavior unrelated to the insurrection,” Biden said, describing his reasoning.
Asked what his biggest concern would be if Trump received such classified information, Biden demurred.
“I’d rather not speculate out loud. I just think that there is no need for him to have the … intelligence briefings. 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.
The White House had said previously that the issue was under review.
Trump spent the months after the election fighting the results in court and making baseless allegations of widespread fraud. He did not attend Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration with other former U.S. presidents, flying instead to Florida where he has set up his post-presidential office.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Leslie Adler and Sonya Hepinstall)