Donald Trump Set to Receive 2nd Classified Briefing Friday

The GOP nominee is scheduled to be briefed again at FBI office in New York City.

ByABC News
August 31, 2016, 2:13 PM

— -- Donald Trump is set to receive another classified briefing from U.S. intelligence officials Friday, two weeks after he said he didn’t trust veterans of the intelligence community and then received his first classified briefing from some of them about major threats and emerging concerns around the world.

The Republican presidential nominee is expected to receive his second classified briefing Friday at the FBI’s field office in New York City, a senior campaign official told ABC News. That’s where career staffers from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence walked him through their latest assessment of worldwide threats two weeks ago.

For his first briefing, which lasted about two hours, Trump brought along New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a former Defense Intelligence Agency director who has become an outspoken and sometimes controversial supporter of Trump.

It’s unclear whether the same advisers will be attending Friday’s planned briefing with Trump.

Because of the sensitivity of the information discussed during briefings of presidential candidates, the sessions must take place in locations with secure rooms, known as sensitive compartmented information facilities. The FBI's office in New York City has such rooms.

The FBI, however, will have no role in the briefing beyond playing host, as ABC News was previously told.

Many of his critics, including top Democratic senators, have questioned whether he is fit to receive classified information, citing controversial statements he has made on the campaign trail.

Similarly, Republican critics have questioned whether Hillary Clinton should receive classified information after what they say is the reckless way she handled sensitive information with use of a private server when she was secretary of state.

Clinton received her first classified briefing last weekend as the Democratic nominee for president.

Clinton’s session was held Saturday at the FBI’s office in White Plains, New York, close to her Chappaqua home. It lasted more than two hours, and Clinton attended it alone, a campaign aide said.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and the White House have said they have no qualms about briefing the Republican or Democratic presidential candidates, noting that providing the briefings is a "long-standing tradition in our system," dating back more than 60 years.

Clapper recently said there is no concern within the U.S. intelligence community over providing classified information to either of the presidential candidates, insisting, "It's not up to the administration and certainly not up to me personally to decide on the suitability of a presidential candidate."

"The American electorate is in the process of deciding the suitability of these two candidates to serve as commander in chief, and they will make that decision, to pick someone who will be cleared for everything," Clapper said in July at the annual Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.

Each of the campaigns decides the location for the candidates’ classified briefings, according to Clapper.

The briefings resemble the annual Worldwide Threat Assessment issued by the intelligence community, which releases an unclassified version each year. While some top-secret information could be discussed, the briefings will not include the nation's most sensitive secrets, particularly information on sources, methods and operations.

During an interview with Fox News that aired hours after Trump’s first briefing on Aug. 17, the Republican nominee was asked whether he trusts U.S. intelligence.

"Not so much from the people that have been doing it for our country. Look what's happened over the last 10 years. Look what's happened over the years. It's been catastrophic,” Trump said. "I won't use some of the people that are sort of your standards, just use them, use them, use them. Very easy to use them. But I won't use them because they've made such bad decisions.”

ABC News' Josh Haskell, Liz Kreutz, Veronica Stracqualursi, Justin Fishel, Alex Mallin and Devin Dwyer contributed to this report.

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