At a press conference at the Pentagon Thursday, President Obama took questions following remarks on the United States’ progress against ISIS, and it didn’t take long for the subject to turn to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Reuters’ Jeff Mason asked Obama if, given the President’s comments about Trump’s fitness for office, “are you concerned he will be receiving security briefings about ISIS and other sensitive national secure issues?”
The President responded with more restraint, but a warning tone, that candidates must “start acting like a president” and keep those briefings secret:
As for Mr. Trump, we’re going to go by the law which is that — tradition and the law, that if someone is the Republican nominee for president, they need to get security briefing, so if they were to win, they are not starting from scratch in terms of being prepared for this office. And I’m not going to go into the details of the nature of the security briefings that both candidates receive. What I will say is that they have been told these are classified briefings. If they want to be president, they have to start acting like president, and that means being able to receive these briefings and not spread them around.
The White House has been fielding questions on Trump’s fitness to receive classified briefings for months, and expressed confidence in the process. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has already rejected a Republican request to deny those briefings to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
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