Politics

Ryan Request Denied, Clinton to Get Intel Briefings

Speaker wanted officials to deny Clinton access to classified info during campaign

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said no to Speaker Paul Ryan. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper denied Speaker Paul D. Ryan's request that Hillary Clinton should not get national security briefings during the presidential campaign.  

In a letter to Ryan, Clapper wrote that "I do not intend to withhold briefings from any officially nominated, eligible candidate."  

That came after FBI Director James B. Comey testified last week that Clinton and top aides were "extremely careless" in handling classified information sent and received via her personal email server, but recommended that no criminal charges be filed.  

[ FBI Director: Clinton ‘Extremely Careless,’ But No Criminal Charges Recommended ]  

In his request , Ryan said that Clinton's conduct was enough of a reason to prevent her from getting the briefings that are normally given to major party presidential candidates.   

[ Ryan Says Clinton Shouldn't Get Campaign Intel Briefings ]  

Ryan said in his letter to Clapper last week that giving Clinton such access "would send the wrong signal to all those charged with safeguarding our nation's secrets if you choose to provide her access to this information despite the FBI's findings."   

Ryan asked for a reason, if Clapper denied the request.  

[ 74 Ways to Deflect Questions on the Clintons ]  

"Nominees for president and vice president receive these briefings by virtue of their status as candidates, and do not require separate security clearances before the briefings," Clapper said in his response. "Briefings for the candidates will be provided on an even-handed nonpartisan basis."  

Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said “we obviously disagree with the decision and want to know what precautions will be taken and what assurances the director can give that Secretary Clinton won't mishandle classified information. She has proven herself untrustworthy.”

Contact Smith at  jeremysmith@cqrollcall.com   and follow him on Twitter  @JeremySilkSmith .

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