A little over three months ago, a story went viral online. If you didn’t see it then, you might have spotted it more recently when political figures on Twitter shared it for the first time, apparently missing the story until now. It looks something like this…
That’s a really comforting headline, isn’t it? Without intelligence briefings, there’s no fear of Donald Trump passing the latest state secrets to our enemies or any other catastrophic exchange he might make with classified information, like he did in the White House. Twitter rejoiced at the news, both three months ago and a couple weeks ago.
We could all sleep easier at night, if it wasn’t a lie. We have no idea if Trump is still receiving intelligence briefings traditionally shared with former presidents.
Neither President Joseph R. Biden or any government official has, to my knowledge, confirmed the New York Times headline, and no reporter has asked for an update.
The Times story stems from a CBS Evening News interview in which Biden was asked if Trump should — should — receive intelligence briefings. “I think not,” Biden responded. “I just think that there is no need from 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 he might slip and say something?”
To their credit, the Times article never claims that Trump has been barred from receiving briefings. Unfortunately, the average person — including Christine Pelosi, apparently — only read the headline.
Other outlets were more professional in their reporting. For example, Newsweek‘s headline was “Joe Biden Says No Intelligence Briefings for Donald Trump: ‘He Might Slip and Say Something.'” Almost accurate. CNN‘s headline was “Biden says Trump should no longer receive classified intelligence briefings.” Accurate.
Those of you who follow Trump File on Twitter know that I don’t condone disinformation on either side of the aisle. However, if a mainstream, corporate outlet like the New York Times is going to publish disinformation, intentionally or not, then at the very least it should not help provide cover for Trump.
I urge readers to pressure the Biden administration for an update on this. While you’re at it, please demand that the president free Reality Winner.
Photo: Public Domain