On Sunday, during an appearance on the CBS program Face The Nation with host Margaret Brennan, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) called for cutting off outgoing President Donald Trump from intelligence briefings once he leaves office. Often, ex-presidents stay in the loop about some of these issues, but Schiff insisted that “there’s no circumstance” in which Trump should get another briefing, noting that Trump “certainly can’t be trusted” in the future, once he’s out of office.
Schiff commented as follows:
‘There’s no circumstance in which this president should get another intelligence briefing — not now, not in the future. I don’t think he can be trusted with it now, and in the future, he certainly can’t be trusted. Indeed, there were, I think, any number of intelligence partners of ours around the world who probably started withholding information from us because they didn’t trust the president would safeguard that information and protect the sources and methods, and that makes us less safe. We’ve seen this president politicize intelligence, and that’s another risk to the country.’
Watch his comments below:
NEWS: “There’s no circumstance,” in which #Trump should receive another intelligence briefing once he leaves office, @RepAdamSchiff tells @margbrennan, saying the Biden team should cut off his briefings.
Earlier this week, former top intel official Sue Gordon urged similarly pic.twitter.com/64Do6TJyln
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) January 17, 2021
Schiff’s perspective mirrors recent comments from Sue Gordon, who spent decades in the intelligence community. In a recent op-ed for The Washington Post, discussing the possibility of foreign interests trying to manipulate Trump once he’s out of office, Gordon noted that it’s not “clear” that the outgoing president “understands the tradecraft to which he has been exposed, the reasons the knowledge he has acquired must be protected from disclosure, or the intentions and capabilities of adversaries and competitors who will use any means to advance their interests at the expense of ours.” In other words, Trump could be an easy target, especially in contexts like his sprawling global family business.
Gordon said that what intelligence that Trump accesses once he’s out of office is “solely the new president’s prerogative.” Separately, President-elect Joe Biden is already facing the looming second Senate impeachment trial for Trump, which will correspond with the initial parts of his new administration. Recently, Biden told reporters that he “had a discussion… with some of the folks in the House and Senate” about whether Congress could “bifurcate” its schedule in order to tackle critical issues while dealing with the trial.