After President Donald Trump vowed last year to release all the long secret files related to the JFK assassination, the administration announced Thursday that some documents will be withheld until October 2021 for national security reasons.
In a White House memo, Trump said that the nation’s intelligence community persuaded him to keep some documents secret because their exposure could harm “identifiable national security, law enforcement, and foreign affairs concerns.”
Trump gave the CIA, FBI and other agencies a deadline of April 24 to release the last remaining documents related to the investigation into President Kennedy’s assassination by Lee Harvey Oswald on Nov. 22, 1963 in Dallas. Last year Trump, who once suggested Sen. Ted Cruz’s father played a role in the assassination, promised he was going to release the entirety of the five million pages of records, most of which have been available since the late 1990s.
“Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened,” Trump tweeted on Oct. 21, 2017. Six days later, he promised: “After strict consultation with General Kelly, the CIA and other Agencies, I will be releasing ALL JFK files other than the names and addresses of any mentioned person who is still living.”
As of Thursday morning, it was unclear exactly how many records are being kept secret. The President did authorize the disclosure of 19,045 documents that are available on the National Archives web site.
Trump said the next deadline for release of more documents would be Oct. 26, 2021.
“The need for continued protection can only grow weaker with the passage of time from this congressional finding,” Trump wrote.
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Ian Shapira