Hillary Clinton receives first classified intelligence briefing

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Aug. 27 (UPI) — Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton received her first classified intelligence briefing Saturday at the FBI field office in White Plains, N.Y.

Clinton attended the briefing alone and it lasted about two hours, her campaign said.

The briefing was held inside a secure room at an FBI office due to the sensitive nature of the information discussed. The FBI’s White Plains office is about 20 minutes from Clinton’s home in Chappaqua, N.Y.

The National Intelligence Agency has issued classified briefings to both major party nominees as part of the transition process. The briefings have taken place dating back to the 1950s.

National Intelligence Director James Clapper said it is possible the initial briefings given to the candidates by his staff would be the only ones they receive before the election, though as national security information comes in, more could be issued.

Donald Trump received his briefing two weeks ago at an FBI office in Manhattan. It also lasted about two hours and he brought two advisers: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency who is advising Trump’s campaign on national security.

The briefings are “fairly general” in nature, Clapper said, and do not include operational details or specific threats facing the nation. Instead, the candidates are given broad-stroke assessments of new and emerging national security threats facing the country.

Clinton received presidential-level intelligence briefings regularly when she was secretary of state. Those briefings included details on specific threats facing the country and actions being taken to counter them.

Republicans have said her mishandling of classified material on a private email server should have precluded her from receiving the candidate briefing. House Speaker Paul Ryan wrote to Clapper, asking whether he would consider withholding Clinton’s briefing. Clapper turned Ryan down, saying he intended to preserve the nonpartisan practice of informing presidential nominees about national security threats.

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