Paul Ryan denounces 'dangerous call' to allow Clinton to receive classified intelligence briefings

Paul ryanWin McNamee/Getty ImagesPaul Ryan during a press conference on Capitol Hill.

House Speaker Paul Ryan argued Wednesday that Hillary Clinton should not be allowed to receive classified intelligence briefings after locking down the Democratic presidential nomination later this month.

In an editorial for The Washington Post, Ryan denounced Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s decision to allow Clinton to receive classified information during her presidential campaign.

Ryan characterised this as a “dangerous call” considering that FBI Director James Comey stated last week that Clinton had been “extremely reckless” in her handling of classified information while she was secretary of state. Clinton, however, avoided formal charges over her use of a private email server, despite the fact that the FBI found that she had sent and received classified information over unsecure email channels.

“The consequences for the safety of our nation are grave,” Ryan wrote. “Clinton’s actions may have allowed our enemies to access intelligence vital to our national security. The FBI found that hostile actors could very well have gained access to classified information sent and received by Clinton, her staff and their contacts.”

Ryan said Clinton should have known better.

“It wasn’t just Clinton’s job to know what was classified — it was her job to decide what was classified,” Ryan wrote. “As secretary of state, Clinton was granted original classification authority, which gave her power to determine what is top-secret material. It’s safe to say that she would know a classified document when she saw it.”

But Ryan failed to convince Clapper that Clinton should be blocked from these briefings.

“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 wrote to Ryan, in a letter obtained by CNN earlier this week. “Briefings for the candidates will be provided on an even-handed non-partisan basis.”

After an investigation, the FBI last week did not recommend that the Justice Department charge Clinton over her emails. Comey said the department concluded that while she was reckless with her use of email, the investigation did not turn up sufficient evidence to prosecute her.

Read Ryan’s full editorial at The Washington Post >

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