Adam Schiff Hopes Officials Will 'Dumb Down' Intelligence Briefings For Trump

The former president faces a total of 91 criminal charges, including for allegedly mishandling classified documents.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the former chair of the House intelligence committee, on Sunday said he expects U.S. officials to “dumb down” any intelligence briefings provided to former President Donald Trump as part of a long-standing tradition extended to presidential nominees.

Candidates who earn their parties’ presidential nomination have been cleared to receive intelligence briefings to ensure a smooth transition of power, regardless of who wins the general election. But the customary briefings, which have been taking place since 1952, are not legally required.

Trump is expected to receive intelligence briefings if and when he officially secures the GOP nomination, officials have said ― in spite of the criminal charges he faces, including for allegedly mishandling classified, top-secret documents.

Speaking to NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Schiff said that while this is standard practice, the former president’s track record does concern him. Schiff argued that the U.S. has never had a presidential candidate who has been as “criminally negligent” in handling classified information as Trump.

He added that he expects officials to take that into account when they sit down with Trump.

“I have to hope, and knowing the intelligence community as I do, that they will dumb down the briefing for Donald Trump,” Schiff said. “That is, they will give him no more information than absolutely necessary. Nothing that would reveal sources or methods. Because we can’t trust that he will do the right thing with that information ― he’s been so reckless.”

“They will be wary of what they share with him, and they should,” Schiff continued.

According to Politico, the briefings go through the Office of the Director of National Intelligence following approval by the White House.

Still, John Bolton, who once served as Trump’s national security adviser, said he was “perplexed” that the Biden administration is agreeing to provide Trump with this type of information.

“I don’t think it makes any sense, and I think it really puts whatever he is told at risk of being disclosed,” Bolton told MSNBC’s Katy Tur on Friday.

Separately, following the 2020 election, President Joe Biden denied Trump the courtesy typically afforded to former presidents of receiving intelligence briefings, citing his “erratic behavior.”

“What value is giving him an intelligence briefing?” Biden asked in an interview with CBS’s Norah O’Donnell in February 2021. “What impact does he have at all, other than the fact he might slip and say something?”

Trump faces a total of 91 criminal charges for allegedly falsifying business records to hide a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election, attempting the undo the election results in Georgia and mishandling classified documents.

Schiff, a member of the now-defunct House select committee probing the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection, was one of two candidates to advance to a runoff election for the seat of the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D).

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