WASHINGTON (AFP) – Donald Trump on Wednesday (Aug 17) received his first classified intelligence briefing, a privilege reserved for presidential candidates from the two main political parties.
The Republican nominee attended the briefing – organised by the office of the director of national intelligence – in secure rooms of the FBI’s New York office, ABC television reported.
Democrat Hillary Clinton is set to receive her briefings separately.
The sessions – designed to prepare candidates for the nation’s highest office in the event they win November’s general election – provide information about global threats against the United States.
However, Trump received no information about intelligence operations or espionage, NBC reported.
Two of his leading advisors, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and retired general Michael Flynn – a former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency – also took part.
During an interview with Fox News broadcast late Wednesday, Trump said he had scant trust in the US intelligence community delivering Wednesday’s briefings.
“Not so much from the people that have been doing it for our country. Look what’s happened over the last 10 years. Look what’s happened over the years. It’s been catastrophic,” he told Fox News.
He added that he was unlikely to install some members of the existing security establishment in his presidential administration.
“I won’t use some of the people that are sort of your standards,” Trump said.
“Very easy to use them. But I won’t use them because they’ve made such bad decisions.” Democrats have raised concerns about whether Trump is fit to receive classified information, including President Barack Obama, who issued a thinly-veiled warning at a news conference earlier this month.
“If they want to be president, they have got to start acting like (a) president,” he said in a clear reference to Trump.
“That means being able to receive these briefings and not spreading them around.”