Washington, May 7: Republican presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump and his Democratic counterpart, most likely to be Hillary Clinton, would receive classified intelligence briefings once they are formally declared as their respective party's candidates for the November elections.
"The Director of National Intelligence (James Clapper) has indicated that he's prepared to move forward at an appropriate time, probably after the convention, with giving intelligence briefings to the two major party nominees," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference.
While the Republican convention is scheduled from July 18-21, the Democratic convention will be held from July 25 to 28. At these conventions that the two parties would formally nominate their presidential candidates.
"Director Clapper has assigned that responsibility to one of the career intelligence professionals in his office, and the President has confidence in those professionals and their ability to determine how and when those briefings should take place," Earnest said.
The decision about what material to present to the two presidential candidates who are nominated by the two major political parties will be made by the professionals in the intelligence community, he said in response to a question.
Clinton, he said, is somebody who undeniably served closely with the President with distinction, and she was critical to advancing a number of policy priorities, including the international agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
"But, ultimately, the decision about how and when and where to give the candidates these briefings will be made by professionals in the intelligence community without regard to partisan considerations. In terms of the American people, theyll have to make up their own minds," Earnest said.
"I think that certainly is true when it comes to deciding who to vote for. But in terms of making decisions about providing sensitive information to individual candidates, I think the American people can have confidence in our intelligence professionals to make that decision," he said.