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
Christopher Plummer, the distinguished Canadian actor best known for his role as Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, has died at the age of 91.
He won an Oscar in 2012 for the film Beginners and was also nominated for The Last Station in 2010 and All the Money in the World in 2018.
In the latter film he replaced Kevin Spacey, whose complete performance as billionaire J Paul Getty was excised.
His many other films included The Man Who Would Be King and Knives Out.
According to reports, Plummer passed away peacefully at his home in Connecticut with his wife Elaine Taylor at his side.
Lou Pitt, his long-time friend and manager of 46 years, remembered him as “an extraordinary man who deeply loved and respected his profession”.
“He was a national treasure who deeply relished his Canadian roots,” he continued. “Through his art and humanity, he touched all of our hearts and his legendary life will endure for all generations to come.
“He will forever be with us.”
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars, said he “beguiled audiences across generations”, adding: “He will be missed.” Bafta added their condolences, praising his “amazing work since the 50s”.
The official Twitter account for The Sound of Music added they were “saddened” to hear of his death.
We’re saddened to hear of Christopher Plummer’s passing. His legacy as our Captain will live on in THE SOUND OF MUSIC forever. Our thoughts are with his loved ones during this time.♥️ pic.twitter.com/hDV3q1opzJ
— The Sound of Music (@SoundofMusic) February 5, 2021
Actor Eddie Marsan worked with Plummer on 2016 film The Exception, and said: “It was like watching a master class. He had nothing to prove anymore so he was completely free, kind, funny mischievous and beautiful to watch. RIP.”
Plummer had a varied career across film, television and theatre, starring in productions on Broadway and with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Yet he will be forever known and loved for The Sound of Music, adapted from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, in which he appeared alongside Dame Julie Andrews.
Plummer had ambivalent feelings towards his best-known film, which he famously renamed The Sound of Mucus in interviews.
He also likened working with Andrews to “being hit over the head with a big Valentine’s Day card, every day”, though they later became great friends.
Born Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer in Toronto in December 1929, Plummer grew up in Montreal as an only child and was exposed to the arts by his mother at an early age.
He first studied the piano before devoting himself to acting, having decided that playing the piano professionally “was very lonely and very hard work”.
He made his debut on the New York stage role in 1954’s The Starcross Story alongside the actress Mary Astor, a show that only ran for one performance.
Yet he soon landed more stage work and later played leading roles at the National Theatre and for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Plummer made his film debut in 1958’s Stage Struck, directed by Sidney Lumet. He was nominated for a Tony the following year and eventually won the award in 1974 for playing Cyrano de Bergerac.
He won his second in 1997 for playing fellow actor John Barrymore in Barrymore.
Plummer was married three times. He and his first wife Tammy Grimes, are the parents of actress Amanda Plummer.