When the torch of the United States’ Presidency is passed, those who formerly served are marked as one of a rare few. And as such, they are granted certain privileges. As you well know, they will forever hold the title of President.
But you may not know that any former president is entitled to receive intelligence briefings of all kinds, should they ask for them. It’s a precedent that has passed down since nearly the beginning, with each new President offering insight and intelligence to the former.
It could be seen as a form of respect for someone who once walked in shoes similar to theirs. However, it can also be somewhat of an asset to have a man or woman who has inside information that one could call on in times of uncertainty.
Neither of the two seems to describe the relationship between former President Donald Trump and newly-sworn in President Joe Biden. However, we all expect that precedent to be followed.
But, apparently, Biden isn’t so sure he’s going to follow it.
According to him, Trump doesn’t deserve or need to get any sort of intelligence briefings should he ask for them.
When recently speaking with CBS’s Norah O’Donnell, Biden commented that he believes Trump’s “erratic behavior unrelated to the insurrection” is reason to deny him such requests in the future.
O’Donnell stated, “You’ve called him an existential threat. You’ve called him dangerous. You’ve called him reckless.”
And Biden responded, “Yeah, I have. And I believe it.”
O’Donnell then asked what Biden’s “worst fear” would be if Trump were to continue “to get these intelligence briefings.
“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 that he might slip and say something?” Biden said.
Seriously? As far as slipping up and saying something, I think Biden should be looking in the mirror. And I’m not sure Biden understands quite how connected our former President is. I’m sure he can be more than influential with the right information.
However, I digress.
The issue at the heart of the matter is that Biden seems to simply not want to offer any sort of courtesy to Trump, nearly as if he has something to be bitter about. But seeing has Biden quite literally stole Trump’s election, it seems if there is any bitterness, it should be from Trump and not Biden.
Of course, Biden’s White House Secretary Jen Psaki tried not so gracefully to cover this up a bit and smooth things over.
On Saturday, she told the press, “The intelligence community supports requests for intelligence briefings by former presidents and will receive any incoming requests, as they always have.” However, she noted that Biden is concerned “about former President Trump receiving access to sensitive intelligence, but he also has a deep trust in his own intelligence team to make a determination about how to provide intelligence information if at any point the former President Trump requests a briefing.”
And apparently, Biden’s not the only one with concerns.
Enter liberal and former principal deputy director of national intelligence Sue Gordon.
She recently wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post that Trump offers a threat by having such information for several reasons.
The first is that he has made it clear that he might be interested in running for political office again. And this means he would be “unusually vulnerable to bad actors with ill intent.” Furthermore, Gordon believes that “it is not clear that he understands the tradecraft to which he has been exposed, the reasons the knowledge he has acquired must be protected from disclosure.”
Really? A multi-million-dollar businessman with numerous corporations all around the globe doesn’t understand political discretion? How exactly does she think he’s gotten this far? By blabbing everyone’s secrets?
Don’t you think that he would have told those while he was in the White House if he was incapable of holding national secrets? But he didn’t. And the fact that he was able to orchestrate numerous peace deals is a testament to that.
But it wouldn’t matter to the left or Biden.
They simply don’t like Trump and don’t want anything to remind them that he was once our President. But if breaking a precedent on this is something they want to start, they better not be surprised when the next Republican President denies Biden the same.