Biden rules out ‘erratic’ Trump access to intelligence briefings

President Donald Trump takes the oath of office as his wife Melania Trump holds the bible and his son Barron Trump looks on, on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC
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residentJoe Biden has said his predecessor Donald Trump will not receive intelligence briefings due to his “erratic behaviour”.

Mr Biden made the revelation during his first network interview as president on CBS, stating that there is “no need” for Mr Trump to be briefed on the nation’s security issues.

While he declined to comment on what his worst fears would be if Mr Trump were allowed to see classified reports, he suggested the former president could not be trusted to keep confidential information to himself.

“What value is giving him an intelligence briefing? What value is there at all, other than that he might slip and say something?”  Mr Biden said. 

The US has traditionally allowed former presidents to receive intelligence briefings and this marks the first time a former president has been excluded from the tradition of being granted continued access to the briefings, according to the New York Times.

Mr Trump maintained a strained relationship with the intelligence community during his presidency and went through six national intelligence directors. 

He questioned reports by US agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and he unveiled highly-classified information to Russia’s foreign minister about an Islamic State operation in 2017.

During the interview, Mr Biden was also asked about Mr Trump’s impeachment trial and whether he would vote to convict him if he was still a senator.

Mr Biden said he “ran like hell to defeat” Mr Trump in the election “because I thought he was unfit to be president,” citing the US Capitol riots which took place last month. 

“I’ve watched what everybody else watched – what happened when that crew invaded the United States congress,” he said. “But I’m not in the senate now, I’ll let the senate make that decision.”

The full interview with Mr Biden will air on CBS on Sunday 7 February. It comes ahead of Mr Trump’s impeachment trial whihc is due to begin next week.

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