Trump suggests CIA was behind push to stop him releasing JFK assassination files

Former president suggests he may release files surrounding the infamous 1963 murder if he’s re-elected

Amelia Neath
Friday 21 June 2024 16:51 BST
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Donald Trump says he will release the rest of the RFK files if he wins the election

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Former President Donald Trump spoke about releasing the files surrounding the assassination of President John F Kennedy in a recent podcast appearance, suggesting the CIA had applied pressure to stop some information being released.

Trump appeared on the All-In Podcast on Thursday, hosted by Silicon Valley technology investors, and spoke on an array of topics, from his political rival President Joe Biden and their upcoming debate to suggesting that foreign students should get green cards after they graduate US college.

The former president was also questioned by venture capitalist and podcast host Chamath Palihapitiya over a promise he made during his presidency that he would release files pertaining to the assassination of Kennedy that occurred on November 22, 1963.

Palihapitiya questioned Trump about what happened over the release of the JFK files and what he would do next should he be re-elected.

“I actually did do it,” Trump said. “I released a lot, as you know, but when it came to the whole thing, I was hit by some people that work for me that are great people, that you would respect and they asked me not to do it.

“And I’m saying why. Tell me why. And they said, ‘Sir, I think it needs a little more time’.”

President John F Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy in an open car motorcade shortly before he was assassinated in Dallas, Texas
President John F Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy in an open car motorcade shortly before he was assassinated in Dallas, Texas (Getty Images)

He did say, however, that he “released a lot, but I said, if they feel so strongly, I respect the people and would have done that again.”

Yet, Trump said that this time round, if he were to win the presidential election, he is “just going to do it.”

The podcast hosts also touched on Robert F Kennedy Jr, who is going up against Trump as an independent candidate in the presential election, and his suggested belief that the CIA was linked to his uncle JFK’s death.

When asked about this, Trump appeared to claim it may have been the CIA who stopped the release of the files.

“This wasn’t CIA that asked me, but I think CIA was probably behind it. They would’ve preferred that I not release the rest of it,” he said on the podcast about the files being released.

The CIA has been accused in the past of complicity in the assassination, which has produced a host of conspiracy theories over the years.

Trump went on to promise that if he is re-elected, he will release the rest of the files.

“It’s going to be done early on,” Trump said. “A lot of people want to see that and whatever it may say – I won’t say it, I have an idea – but whatever it is it will be very interesting for people to see and we’re going to have to learn from it.”

Trump had made his own assertions over the death of Kennedy, passing a comment in 2016 during the Republican primary before he became president in which he suggested his GOP rival Ted Cruz’s father was connected to the assassination.

During an interview with Fox News eight years ago, he brought up a story run in the National Enquirer that published a photo that it said shows Rafael Cruz with Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

"His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being — you know, shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous," Trump said.

"I mean, what was he doing — what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting?"

Cruz’s campaign at the time responded by saying it was “another garbage story.”

"Trump is detached from reality, and his false, cheap, meaningless comments every day indicate his desperation to get attention and willingness to say anything to do so," the Cruz campaign said in a statement.

Trump himself was recently caught up in a wild assassination claim after Marjorie Taylor Greene said in May that the DOJ was planning to assassinate Trump, even prompting the FBI to release a statement debunking this.

Greene made the wild accusation that the Justice Department had authorized the use of “deadly force” during an FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, claiming they were “planning to assassinate him.”

The Georgia congresswoman made this claim after court files were unsealed in May in Trump’s classified documents case, which included orders relating to when the FBI searched Mar-A-Lago in 2022 and seized hundreds of documents.

The operation order in the newly unsealed filing stated that “Law enforcement officers of the Department of Justice may use deadly force when necessary.”

The FBI put out a statement about the situation. “The FBI followed standard protocol in this search as we do for all search warrants, which includes a standard policy statement limiting the use of deadly force,” the statement read.

“No one ordered additional steps to be taken, and there was no departure from the norm in this matter,” it added.

Trump, however, also chimed in at the time about the wording of the order.

“WOW! I just came out of the Biden Witch Hunt Trial in Manhattan, the ‘Icebox,’ and was shown Reports that Crooked Joe Biden’s DOJ, in their illegal and UnConstitutional Raid of Mar-a-Lago, AUTHORIZED THE FBI TO USE DEADLY (LETHAL) FORCE,” Trump wrote in a post.

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