Classified Intelligence Briefings for Presidential Candidates: Questions Answered

Both candidates will soon receive the national intelligence briefings.

Both presidential candidates are now eligible to receive classified intelligence briefings. Unlike past elections, this has become a subject of intense scrutiny, since both political opponents are raising questions about the other candidates' ability to handle such information. So here are the answers to some basic questions about how this process works:

When do the briefings begin and how many do they get?

What are the topics of the briefings?

Do the candidates need security clearance?

Where are the briefings held?

Do the briefings include top secret information?

Is the White House going to hold anything back over Trump concerns?

"For more than 60 years now, the intelligence community has offered briefings to the presidential nominees of the two major political parties in an effort to facilitate a smooth transition," Earnest said. "So the Director of National Intelligence has indicated he intends to conduct those briefings pursuant to that longstanding tradition and he certainly is supported by this administration and this White House in doing so. What’s also true of the intelligence community is they understand what steps are necessary to protect sensitive national security information. And the administration is confident that they can both provide relevant and sufficient briefings to the two major party presidential candidates, while also protecting sensitive national security information."