If he is reelected in 2024, former President Donald Trump has promised to release the remaining classified files in the case of the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy — and the intelligence community is probably not happy about it.
In 2017, Trump released roughly 2,8000 records, but held back some of the documents. The former president said on Monday that he had “no choice” but to keep the documents from the public, citing concerns from the intelligence community.
“I released a lot, as you know. And I will release everything else,” Trump told news outlet The Messenger, referring to the Kennedy files. “I will release the remaining portion very early in my term.”
In 2018, then-President Trump discussed the reasoning behind withholding some of the documents.
“I agree with the Archivist’s recommendation that the continued withholdings are necessary to protect against identifiable harm to national security, law enforcement, or foreign affairs that is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in immediate disclosure. I am also ordering agencies to re-review each of those redactions over the next 3 years. At any time during that review period, and no later than the end of that period, agencies shall disclose information that no longer warrants continued withholding,” the former president said in 2018.
In order @POTUS says remaining JFK assassination records "shall be withheld from full public disclosure until no later than October 26, 2021." (Records were due for release today) pic.twitter.com/k599njyOmF
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) April 26, 2018
According to the 1992 Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act, the deadline to release all of the classified material about his death was 2017 — though the measure did allow for delays if the government had concerns that harm to the intelligence community or the military “outweighs the public interest in disclosure.”
Former CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who also served as secretary of state, previously defended the Trump administration for agreeing to withhold the JFK documents — pointing out that “not everything was 60 years ago.”
“I don’t want to spend a lot of time walking through this,” he told John Stossel in an interview earlier this year. “It’s a little bit wonky, but suffice it to say, if Congress holds a hearing tomorrow on the Kennedy assassinations, the documents generated tomorrow will be part of those files.”
President Joe Biden has released more than 12,000 documents since taking office, but some analysts have estimated that thousands more records are still being withheld.
Nobody should be surprised when Americans are distrustful of a government that refuses to reveal 60-year-old secrets. The American people are entitled to see every document, as the law requires.https://t.co/ZrwigxfC4p
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) May 8, 2023
All of this comes after Democrat presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. asserted that the CIA was “beyond a reasonable doubt” involved in his uncle’s murder.
“The evidence is overwhelming that the CIA was involved in the murder and in the cover-up,” he said.
"Yes, the [CIA] was definitely involved in the murder of [my Uncle JFK] and the 60 year coverup."
"There is no doubt if you look at the huge mountain of evidence and confessions" pic.twitter.com/SMRGA3zvSz
— James Phillips (@JamesPhillips00) May 7, 2023
Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson made similar claims late last year — citing a source with direct knowledge about the records sealed regarding Kennedy’s assassination.
“We spoke to someone who had access to these still hidden CIA documents, a person who was deeply familiar with what they contained,” he said. “We asked this person directly, ‘Did the CIA have a hand in the murder of John F. Kennedy, an American president?’”
“And here’s the reply we received verbatim,” Tucker added. “‘The answer is yes. I believe they were involved. It’s a whole different country from what we thought it was. It’s all fake.’”
Tucker Carlson: Yes, the CIA killed President Kennedy. Your government is a lie.
Happy Thursday! pic.twitter.com/S0vXgpQGcH
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) December 16, 2022