Harry Reid: How Can Intel Community Give Trump Classified Briefings Now?

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was left flabbergasted by the prospect of giving Donald Trump classified briefings on the campaign trail after the nominee’s comments about Russian hackers.

“How would the CIA and the other intelligence agencies brief this guy? How could they do that? I would suggest to the intelligence agencies, if you’re forced to brief this guy, don’t tell him anything, just fake it, because this man is dangerous,” Reid said in a Wednesday interview with The Huffington Post. “Fake it, pretend you’re doing a briefing, but you can’t give the guy any information.”

In a press conference earlier the same day, Trump suggested that hackers had breached Clinton’s personal email server and urged the Russian government to release the emails, a proposal which Reid condemned in no uncertain terms. “What Trump is talking about is much worse than Watergate,” Reid said. “Absolutely.”

Reid went on to emphasize the connection between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling the GOP nominee “part of a foreign power” after he failed to answer questions about whether Russian business entities are invested in him or his projects. “We knew he liked Putin before this,” Reid said, “but this is quite ridiculous.”

Trump aides and allies scrambled to discount the nominee’s comments as a “joke” or otherwise explain them. A spokesperson for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) responded by saying that Putin should “stay out” of the election. On the other side of the aisle, former CIA director and Defense secretary Leon Panetta said that Trump’s remarks had “already represented a threat to our national security.”

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: