Good Afternoon
Good Afternoon

Trump: I wasn't going to halt Obama access to briefings

President Donald Trump waves as he arrives at

President Donald Trump waves as he arrives at the White House in Washington on Sunday. Credit: AP / J. Scott Applewhite

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Tuesday pushed back against a news report that claims his advisers urged him last year to block former president Barack Obama from receiving classified intelligence briefings.

“Fake News, of which there is soooo much (this time the very tired New Yorker) falsely reported that I was going to take the extraordinary step of denying Intelligence Briefings to President Obama. Never discussed or thought of!” Trump tweeted in response to an article published on Monday by The New Yorker.

According to the article, the president’s advisers suggested he deny Obama access to the briefings — historically provided to all living presidents — around March 2017 when the president, without offering evidence, accused Obama on Twitter of wiretapping Trump Tower during the campaign season.

H.R. McMaster, Trump’s then-national security adviser, ultimately persuaded Trump against such a move, according to the article.

The piece comes as the president faces criticism from current and former national security officials for revoking the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, a staunch critic of Trump. The president has also said he is weighing rescinding more clearances from Obama-era officials.

Brennan, and others, have accused the president of using the clearances as a political weapon aimed at punishing his detractors and those involved in some capacity with the Justice Department’s probe into Russian election interference. Trump has said he revoked Brennan’s clearance in part due to his past role in the Russia investigation.

The president, in an interview with Reuters on Monday, declined to answer whether he would strip special counsel Robert Mueller, who is overseeing the Russia probe, of his security clearance.

“I haven’t given it a lot of thought,” Trump said.

The president on Tuesday also took a dig at New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, accusing him of stealing a slogan that Trump has used on the campaign trail.

“Bill DeBlasio, the high taxing Mayor of NYC, just stole my campaign slogan: PROMISES MADE PROMISES KEPT! That’s not at all nice. No imagination!” Trump tweeted.

The missive came a day after de Blasio appeared at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new school in Brooklyn on Monday in front of a “Promises Made, Promises Kept” banner. Reporters quickly noted that Trump has used similar signage at recent campaign-style events.

De Blasio, in a tweet directed at Trump on Tuesday replied: “The difference is that I’m not lying when I say it.”

The slogan is not exclusive to either of the two.

Newt Gingrich, the former Republican House speaker, used the phrase when pitching his “Contract With America” agenda in 1994, and former President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore also used the slogan on campaign paraphernalia during the 1996 election.

With Yancey Roy

News Photos and Videos