The New York Times is reporting that President Biden has barred his predecessor Donald Trump from receiving intelligence briefings that all former presidents are entitled to after they leave office.
While it's a longstanding tradition for past presidents, in Trump's case Biden is citing Trump's "erratic behavior unrelated to the insurrection" to justify the ban. Biden made the comments during a new "CBS Evening News" interview with anchor Norah O'Donnell which will air just ahead of the Super Bowl on Sunday. Biden also fears trump might "slip" and reveal classified information publicly.
Biden was asked directly what the main concern is when it comes to Trump receiving the customary briefings. Biden responded: "I just think that there is no need for him to have the -- 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?" CBS has teased the interview by releasing the below clip:
Here's the key part of the exchange via CBS:
"Well, let me ask you then something that you do have oversight of as president," O'Donnell said. "Should former President Trump still receive intelligence briefings?"
Former presidents often have the opportunity to receive intelligence briefings as a courtesy.
"I think not," Mr. Biden responded.
"Why not?" O'Donnell asked.
"Because of his erratic behavior unrelated to the insurrection," Mr. Biden said.
Biden's comments come roughly three weeks after the Washington Post published an Op-Ed from former deputy director of national intelligence from 2017 - 2019, Susan M. Gordan, who wrote that Trump poses a "potential national security risk" - citing his plan to remain engaged in politics, and his "significant business entanglements that involve foreign entities."
Additionally The New York Times has noted that this would constitute the first time in history that a former president will be blocked from such briefings by the sitting president. "The move was the first time that a former president had been cut out of the briefings," NY Times wrote.
Video: Asked whether former Pres. Trump should still receive intelligence briefings, Pres. Biden tells @NorahODonnell “I think not.” Pres. Biden says it’s “because of his erratic behavior unrelated to the insurrection.”— Mike Walker (@New_Narrative) February 6, 2021
The briefing to former presidents is considered a "courtesy" - with the daily intelligence briefings also currently being provided to Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
But during the CBS interview Biden reaffirmed his earlier words when O'Donnell brought up his prior assessment of Trump as an "existential threat" and "dangerous, you've called him reckless" - to which Biden said, "I believe it".
Theoretically it enables the sitting president to reach out to past presidents for advice on foreign policy issues and threats the nation is facing. However, the Democrats now deem Trump himself a "threat" given they blame him for "incitement" - charges now being brought publicly as part of impeachment efforts - for the January 6 Capitol Hill unrest.