News World US Donald Trump shouldn’t get intelligence briefs: Joe Biden

Donald Trump shouldn’t get intelligence briefs: Joe Biden

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US President Joe Biden believes his predecessor Donald Trump should no longer receive classified intelligence briefings because of his “erratic behaviour”.

“I think not,” Mr Biden said when asked by CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell if Mr Trump should receive the briefings.

“Because of his erratic behaviour unrelated to the insurrection,” Mr Biden said in the interview released on Friday (local time), referring to the January 6 storming of the US Capitol by Trump’s supporters.

US presidents traditionally receive some intelligence briefings after leaving office.

Mr Trump frequently denigrated the intelligence community and was not known for taking long briefings.

The Republican faces his second impeachment trial next week, charged with sparking an insurrection at the Capitol by calling on people to “fight” the results of the November 3 election he lost.

Asked what his biggest concern would be if Mr Trump received classified information, Mr Biden demurred.

“I’d rather not speculate out loud. I just think that there is no need for him to have the … intelligence briefings. 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?” Mr Biden said.

Mr Biden echoed the sentiments of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff who previously said Mr Trump should be denied access to classified material during his post-presidency.

“There’s no circumstance in which this president should get another intelligence briefing,” Mr Schiff said during an interview in January with CBS’s Face the Nation.

“I don’t think he can be trusted with it now, and in the future.”

Meanwhile, Mr Biden has laid out his case for moving fast and without Republicans, if necessary, to pass his $SU1.9 trillion ($A2.5 trillion) coronavirus relief package.

The stakes for the country and economy were amplified on Friday morning by the release of the government’s jobs report for January, which showed that hiring had stalled to a pace that could hinder a return to full employment for several years.

Some 406,000 people left the labour force last month as deaths from the pandemic have surged.

“A lot of folks are losing hope,” Mr Biden said.

“I believe the American people are looking right now to their government for help, to do our job, to not let them down. So I’m going to act. I’m going to act fast. I’d like to be doing it with the support of Republicans… they’re just not willing to go as far as I think we have to go.”

The jobs report landed shortly after Senate Democrats cast a decisive vote to muscle the COVID relief plan through the chamber without Republican support, a step toward final approval next month.

Vice-President Kamala Harris cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate, her first.

Mr Biden’s speech solidified a marked shift in tone and strategy for a president who entered the White House pledging bipartisanship and met on Monday with 10 Republican senators pushing a slimmed-down $US618 billion alternative.

Mr Biden said that aid at that level would only prolong the economic pain.

Senate Democrats applauded after Ms Harris announced the chamber’s 51-50 vote on the budget measure about 5.30am following a gruelling all-night session.

Following Senate approval, the House passed the measure 219-209 on Friday afternoon, also without a Republican vote.

The coronavirus aid package can now work its way through congressional committees with the goal of finalising additional relief by mid-March, when extra unemployment assistance and other pandemic aid expires.

“We have been focused like a laser on getting this done,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

“We hope to be able to put vaccines in people’s arms, money in people’s pockets, children safely in schools and workers in their jobs. That’s what we are doing now.”

-with agencies