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Trump claims he'll declassify all of the JFK-related assassination records if he's reelected. He said the same thing in 2016, but ended up siding with the CIA and FBI to keep the documents secret.

JFK assassination
Public Domain / wikimedia
  • Trump reaffirmed his promise to release all of the remaining JFK assassination-related documents.

  • But as president, he sided with the CIA and FBI in continuing to shield some records from the public.

  • Biden also refused to release all the records in a decision he announced last week.

Former President Donald Trump on Friday reiterated a promise to release the remaining classified records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, despite the fact that he failed to do so when he had the opportunity while in office for four years.

"When I return to the White House, I will declassify and unseal all JFK assassination related documents," Trump wrote on his social media platform, Truth. "It's been 60 years, time for the American people to know the TRUTH!"

President Joe Biden declared last week that the National Archives had completed its review of still-classified records and recommended that some still be held back from public view.

"This action reflects his instruction that all information related to President Kennedy's assassination should be released, except when the strongest possible reasons council otherwise," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters at the White House.

A tussle over the remaining documents

The White House's declaration that 99% of the records have been made public was met with derision from Kennedy assassination experts who chided both the announcement on the eve of the holiday weekend and the US government's failure to release the entirety of what it has.

"It's insulting to anyone who cares about truth in this case because the Biden White House intentionally released it on a Friday night before what's basically a long holiday weekend," Gerald Posner, author of the book "Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK, told the Messenger. "No one disagrees that all the files should have been released a long time ago. It's to the shame of all of us."

Trump's Friday statement came as he was sharing The Messenger's report. The publication also pointed out that long-shot Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr, JFK's nephew, also criticized the Biden administration for continuing to keep thousands of records classified.

Trump's promised this before

The former president faced this same decision while in office. In 2017, Trump oversaw the release of over 19,000 documents but eventually broke a promise to fully release the remaining material. Siding with the CIA and FBI, Trump eventually kicked the can on the remaining records to 2021.

Biden then delayed the process again until 2022, when he released 13,000 additional records, NBC News reported at the time. The president then set another deadline for June 2023, which is what triggered the most recent action.

The constant drip of records flies into the face of the spirit of the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992. The law, which Congress passed unanimously, required that all assassination-related records be publicly disclosed by October 26, 2017. Under the law, only a president can certify a limited number of national security concerns that would justify postponing the public availability of a document. Multiple presidents have since used that power to delay releasing documents.

Most researchers have long dismissed the possibility that any single document would be a "smoking gun" that would undermine the Warren Commission's conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone when he shot Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Kennedy was later pronounced dead at Parkland Hospital.

Read the original article on Business Insider