President Joe Biden has said his predecessor Donald Trump should not be given access to intelligence briefings because of his "erratic behaviour". US President Joe Biden is refusing to give former president Donald Trump access to intelligence briefings. Photo: AFP The US has a tradition of allowing former presidents to be briefed on the nation's security issues - as a courtesy extended by the incumbent. But when asked by CBS News if Trump would receive the same courtesy, President Biden said: "I think not". He cited Trump's "erratic behaviour" as his reason for refusing access. "I don't think there's any need for him to have an intelligence briefing," Biden said in his first sit-down interview since becoming president. He declined to speculate on what his worst fears would be if Trump were allowed to see classified reports, but he suggested the former president could not be trusted to keep confidential information to himself. "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?" Biden said. The move is the first time a former president has been excluded from the tradition of being granted continued access to the briefings, according to the New York Times. For weeks after the 3 November presidential election, Trump himself broke with tradition by failing to include his successor in security and intelligence briefings. Trump eventually agreed to allow the formal transition process to take place, but his administration was still accused of blocking Biden's access to intelligence. Trump feuded with the intelligence community throughout his four-year presidency and went through six national intelligence directors. He questioned reports by US agencies that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election, and assailed intelligence chiefs for being "extremely passive and naive" over Iran. In 2017, he disclosed highly classified information to Russia's foreign minister about an Islamic State operation in what was seen as a breach of trust by many in the US intelligence community. During his CBS interview, Biden was asked about the impeachment trial Trump is facing in the US Senate for his role in the riot at the Capitol in Washington on 6 January. Biden said he "ran like hell to defeat" Trump in the election "because I thought he was unfit to be president", but he would leave the Senate to decide whether the Republican should be barred from ever holding public office again. Fox cancels vocal Trump supporter Lou Dobbs' show US broadcaster Fox has cancelled the TV programme hosted by Lou Dobbs, a vocal Trump supporter who is accused of using his platform to spread baseless claims of fraud in the 2020 election. The news emerged a day after Dobbs was named in a defamation lawsuit filed by the voting machine maker Smartmatic. The $US2.7 billion lawsuit claims the presenter was part of a "disinformation campaign" against the company. Fox, which denies the allegations, says the decision to drop Lou Dobbs Tonight was not linked. The veteran financial journalist, 75, has presented Lou Dobbs Tonight on the Fox Business Network since 2011. He was also an occasional commentator on Fox News, the conservative channel that has been home to several staunch supporters of Trump. - BBC
House of Representatives Democrats who will prosecute former President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial asked him on Thursday to testify next week about his conduct before hundreds of his supporters launched a deadly attack on the Capitol.
The House last month impeached Trump on a charge of inciting insurrection after he made a fiery speech urging his followers to “fight” his election defeat shortly before they stormed the Capitol, fighting with police and sending lawmakers scrambling for their safety.
Trump’s attorneys this week rejected the charge, contending that he “fully and faithfully executed his duties as president” and asserting that his claims that his election defeat was the result of widespread fraud – which were baseless – were protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
“In light of your disputing these factual allegations, I write to invite you to provide testimony under oath, either before or during the Senate impeachment trial, concerning your conduct on January 6, 2021,” Democratic lawmaker Jamie Raskin, the lead House impeachment manager, wrote in a letter to Trump and his attorneys.
Raskin asked Trump to provide testimony between 8 and 11 February.
“If you decline this invitation, we reserve any and all rights, including the right to establish at trial that your refusal to testify supports a strong adverse inference regarding your actions (and inaction) on January 6, 2021,” Raskin wrote.
House managers want Trump to testify under oath about a number of statements made by his lawyers, including that he never tried to subvert the certification of the election results, according to a senior aide on the impeachment team.
It was not immediately clear whether Trump would agree to the request. Trump’s representatives and lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a close ally of Trump’s, dismissed the request as a “political ploy.”
Asked if Trump would testify, Graham said: “I don’t think that would be in anybody’s interest.”
For two months after losing his re-election bid to President Joe Biden, Trump loudly argued that he lost due to rampant electoral fraud, claims that were rejected by multiple courts and state election officials.
At the 6 January rally, the former president urged supporters to fight before hundreds of them stormed the Capitol to try to stop the certification of Biden’s victory. Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died during the incident.
Trump’s lawyers and most Republican senators have challenged the constitutionality of the trial. They have said the Senate does not have the authority to hear the case because Trump, also a Republican, has already left office and cannot be removed.
Such an argument would allow Republican senators – who hold half the seats in the chamber – to vote against Trump’s conviction on procedural concerns instead of directly supporting his comments.
A total of 17 Republicans would need to join all 50 Democrats to convict Trump in the trial.
The impeachment trial of Trump, the first US president to face such a trial twice, is expected to begin next week.
Trump’s first impeachment trial, on charges of abuse of power and obstructing Congress after he appeared to pressure the president of Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son, resulted in an acquittal by the Senate, where Republicans held the majority at the time and denied Democrats’ attempts to present witnesses.