Biden Begins Receiving Intel Briefs, Warns of Russian Meddling
(Bloomberg) -- Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he is receiving intelligence briefings and warned Friday about Russian interference in the 2020 election.
“We know from before and I guarantee you I know now because now I get briefings again -- the Russians are still engaged in trying to delegitimize our electoral process. Fact,” the former vice president said during a fundraiser organized by lawyers that included general counsels from roughly 100 companies.
“China and others are engaged as well in activities designed for us to lose confidence in the outcome” of the November election, Biden added.
A Biden campaign official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the briefings had begun and said the candidate also receives advice from his team of national security experts.
Biden had not been briefed as recently as June 30, when he said at a press conference that he “very well may” ask for access to intelligence about reports that Russia had offered bounties for the killing of American troops in Afghanistan.
The White House did not immediately comment. The office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment.
Biden has repeatedly criticized Donald Trump after reports that the president doesn’t read the Presidential Daily Brief and receives only infrequent verbal briefings. On the Russian bounty reports, Biden said “the idea that somehow he didn’t know, or isn’t being briefed, it is a dereliction of duty, if that’s the case.” He added that if Trump “was briefed and nothing was done about this, that’s a dereliction of duty.”
In 2016, nominees Hillary Clinton and Trump were offered the opportunity to be briefed beginning in early August. “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,” Josh Earnest, the then-White House press secretary, said in late July of that year.
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