Donald Trump’s and Joe Biden’s presidential campaigns will continue to receive in-person briefings on election security despite a directive from the Trump administration that effectively cuts off the congressional intelligence committees, according to three sources familiar with the matter.
Per longstanding practice, the presidential nominees for each major party receive regular intelligence briefings on a host of subjects, including on possible efforts by hostile foreign actors to influence the outcome of the election.
In a statement over the weekend, Biden ripped the Trump administration’s decision to block lawmakers from receiving similar in-person briefings, calling it an attempt to clear obstacles for Russia to continue intervening on the president’s behalf.
“President Trump is hoping Vladimir Putin will once more boost his candidacy and cover his horrific failures to lead our country through the multiple crises we are facing,” Biden said over the weekend.
Biden’s statement was silent on whether he, personally, would continue to receive such briefings. A campaign spokesman declined to comment on the briefings.
Over the weekend, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence informed top lawmakers that it will no longer brief them in-person on election security, prompting backlash from Democrats. In justifying the decision, John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, cited recent leaks of classified information from intelligence briefings on Capitol Hill.
That explanation, though, cuts against ODNI’s recent communications with lawmakers. Even after the recent leaks, ODNI had proactively arranged in-person briefings for lawmakers on the subject of election security. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said the decision smacked of politics and threatened to subpoena top intelligence officials to force in-person briefings if ODNI failed to reverse course.
A spokesman for ODNI did not respond to requests for comment.
Natasha Bertrand contributed to this report.