Posted on July 28, 2016
No classified national security briefings for Donald Trump
Donald Trump just asked Russia to spy on the United States. Here’s how the New York Times reported the news (emphasis ours):
Donald J. Trump said Wednesday that he hoped Russia had hacked Hillary Clinton’s email, essentially encouraging an adversarial foreign power’s cyberspying on a secretary of state’s correspondence.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Mr. Trump said, staring directly into the cameras. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
Let’s be clear: Trump’s encouragement of a dangerous dictator like Vladimir Putin to commit espionage and publicize state secrets poses serious national security concerns, and may violate federal law. This unprecedented action is even more horrifying given that Trump is scheduled to start receiving classified national security briefings as soon as next week.
This cannot happen.
Since Wednesday, tens of thousands of CREDO activists have joined our campaign to demand that Donald Trump not receive classified national security briefings because of his encouragement of the Russian government to spy on the United States.
We need to build momentum for this campaign, and build it fast. That’s why we put together an important video to spread the word about Trump’s shocking request to Russia and to highlight the urgency of acting now.
Trump’s shocking request for Putin to spy on the United States comes on the heels of widely reported stories linking Russia to cyber attacks against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) that culminated with a Wikileaks drop of tens of thousands of internal DNC emails over the weekend.
While it is customary to do so, there is no legal requirement for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to provide the presidential candidates with classified information. Earlier this month, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan tried to use the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email usage as grounds to block Clinton from receiving briefings. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper refused that request, saying he “does not intend to withhold briefings from any officially nominated, eligible candidate.”
It’s hard to imagine that a presidential candidate who has possibly violated federal law, by asking a hostile government to spy on a former secretary of state, should be eligible to receive classified national security briefings. It would be irresponsible and dangerous for Clapper to provide them.
Thursday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest indicated that Clapper intends to provide Trump with briefings, and that the administration supported Clapper’s plan. The briefings aren’t expected to start until next week at the earliest. We need to keep fighting back to make sure that the administration gets the message that, given the unprecedented nature of Trump’s fascist candidacy, now is not the time to defer to past custom when it comes to protecting our national security interests.
Click here to sign our petition to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper telling him not to provide classified national security briefings to Donald Trump.
It’s been clear for months that a Trump presidency poses a grave threat to the millions of Americans who are regularly demonized and threatened by his violent rhetoric and extremist policy positions. It’s now also clear that Trump’s access to classified briefings, not to mention the possibility of his control of our nuclear codes, poses an equally grave threat to American security.
Trump is now trying to walk back his dangerous rhetoric. That’s how he’s gotten away with so much already — from racism to misogyny to xenophobia to inciting violence.
It’s up to us to push back on this breach as much as we have pushed back on his hate.