For decades, conspiracy theorists have speculated about the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. And on Saturday, President Trump, who established his political career propagating the birther conspiracy about Barack Obama, pledged the documents would be made public.
“Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened,” he tweeted Saturday morning.
More than 3,000 documents related to the assassination are set to be released by the National Archives next week in accordance with a 1992 bill.
The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 states that the federal government must release them by October 26, 2017, with lawmakers at the time arguing that making them public would help quash conspiracy theories about the killing. The move was partly prompted by the release of Oliver Stone’s film JFK, which renewed speculation about the Kennedy assassination.
Trump’s tweet suggests that all information documents will be made open, but security officials remain steadfastly opposed to their full declassification.
However Trump administration officials told Politico Friday that some information would remain classified, since it contains important information on recent intelligence and law enforcement operations. A National Security Council official confirmed to The Washington Postthat federal agencies are asking the president not to release an unknown number of files. The official did not specify which agencies had made the requests.
White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters told the publication the White House is aiming “to ensure that the maximum amount of data can be released to the public” under the act.
Former Trump adviser and GOP dirty tricks operative Roger Stone has been stirring speculation about what material the documents contain, and, in an interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Stone claimed to have implored Trump to release them in full.
“Yesterday, I had the opportunity to make the case directly to the president of the United States by phone as to why I believe it is essential that he release the balance of the currently redacted and classified JFK assassination documents,” Stone said on Jones’s show Infowars. “A very good White House source — not the President — told me that the Central Intelligence Agency, specifically CIA director Mike Pompeo, has been lobbying the President furiously not to release these documents. Why? Because I believe they show that Oswald was trained, nurtured and put in place by the Central Intelligence Agency.”
Stone said it wasn’t clear what Trump will do. “He did not tip off his current decision,” Stone said. “We’re going to have to wait . . . but he was all ears. He took it all in . . . I think he’s going to do the right thing.”
The CIA declined to comment to the post about Stone’s assertion, and said the “CIA continues to engage in the process to determine the appropriate next steps with respect to any previously unreleased CIA information.”
Trump himself is no stranger to spreading JFK conspiracy theories, alleging that the father of his rival for the GOP presidential candidacy, Ted Cruz, was involved in the plot, prompting a furious denial from the Texas senator.