President Joe Biden said his precursor Donald Trump should not be given intelligence briefings due to his “erratic behaviour”.
The US has a custom of permitting former presidents to be informed on the nation’s security issues – as an incumbent’s courteousness.
But when questioned by CBS News if Mr Trump would receive the same courtesy, President Biden said: “I think not”.
He cited Mr Trump’s “erratic behaviour” as a reason for rejecting his access.
“I don’t think there’s any requirement for him to have an intelligence briefing,” Mr Biden said in his first sit-down interview.
He declined to speculate on his worst fears if Mr Trump were allowed to see secret reports. In addition, he considered the former president could not be reliable to keep confidential information.
“What value is giving him an intelligence briefing? What effect does he have at all, other than the fact he might slip and say something?” Mr Biden said. According to the New York Times, this is the first time a former president has been omitted from the tradition of being approved continued access to the briefings.
Mr Trump himself broke with tradition by failing to include his successor in security and intelligence briefings.
Mr Trump ultimately agreed to allow the formal transition process to occur. However, it was still suspected that his administration was blocking Mr Biden’s intelligence access.
He argued with the intelligence community throughout his four-year presidency and went through six national intelligence directors.
He questioned US agencies’ reports that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election. As assailed intelligence heads for being “extremely passive and naive” over Iran.
In 2017, he disclosed highly hush-hush information to Russia’s foreign minister. It was about an Islamic State operation and the US intelligence community saw it as a break of trust.
Joe Biden’s efforts
President Biden was asked about Mr Trump’s accusation trial in the US Senate for his role in the Capitol’s riot in Washington on 6 January.
Mr Biden said he “ran like hell to defeat” Mr Trump in the election “because I thought he was not fit to be president”. However, he would leave the Senate to conclude whether the Republican should be stopped from ever holding public office again.