Intelligence director won’t deny Clinton classified briefings

Lauren Schneiderman

Speaker Paul Ryan’s attempt to stop presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton from receiving intelligence briefings after she’s formally nominated has failed.

{mosads}Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Wisconsin Republican in a letter obtained by The Hill that he does “not intend to withhold briefings from any officially nominated, eligible candidate.”

“Nominees for president and vice president receive these classified briefings by virtue of their status as candidates, and do not require separate security clearances before the briefings,” Clapper wrote in the letter early Monday evening. “Briefings for the candidates will be provided on an even-handed non-partisan basis.

“Candidates are advised of the classified nature of the material, and operational and policy matters are not addressed.”

CNN first reported on the letter on Monday night.

Last Thursday, Ryan formally requested that Clapper deny Clinton access to classified information “for the duration of her candidacy for president.” The request would have blocked Clinton from the classified briefings given to presidential candidates, which are intended to prepare them for the Oval Office.

His request came hours before FBI Director James Comey testified on Capitol Hill about the findings of his yearlong investigation into Clinton’s handling of classified material while she was serving as secretary of State.

While the FBI did not ultimately recommend charges against Clinton, Comey said that Clinton and her aides were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

In his letter to Clapper, Ryan wrote that “given the FBI’s findings denying Secretary Clinton access to classified information certainly constitutes appropriate sanctions.”

After receiving the letter from Clapper on Monday, Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong maintained that Clinton “has proven herself untrustworthy.”

“We obviously disagree with the decision and want to know what precautions will be taken and what assurances the director can give that Secretary Clinton won’t mishandle classified information,” Strong said in a statement.

Julian Hattem contributed to this report, which was updated on July 12 at 8:28 a.m.


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