President Joe Biden has said his predecessor Donald Trump should not be given access to intelligence briefings because of his “erratic behaviour”.
The US has a tradition of allowing former presidents to be briefed on the nation’s security issues – as a courtesy extended by the incumbent.
But when asked by CBS News if Trump would receive the same courtesy, President Biden said “I think not”.
He cited Trump’s “erratic behaviour” as his reason for refusing access.
The president declined to speculate on what his worst fears would be if Trump were allowed to see classified reports, but he hinted that the former president could not be trusted to keep confidential information to himself.
“I don’t think there’s any need for him to have an intelligence briefing,” Biden said in his first sit-down interview since becoming president.
“What value is giving him an intelligence briefing? What value is there at all, other than that he might slip and say something?”
Trump feuded with the intelligence community throughout his four-year presidency and went through six national intelligence directors.
He questioned reports by US agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, and assailed intelligence chiefs for being “extremely passive and naive” over Iran.
In 2017, he disclosed highly-classified information to Russia’s foreign minister about an Islamic State operation in what was seen as a breach of trust by many in the US intelligence community.
During his CBS interview, President Biden was asked about the impeachment trial. Trump is facing in the US Senate for his role in the riot at the Capitol on 6 January.
Biden said he “ran like hell to defeat” Trump in the election “because I thought he was unfit to be president”, but he would leave the Senate to decide whether the Republican should be barred from ever holding public office again.