Trump says he will release all JFK files to put ‘conspiracy theories to rest’
The Trump administration released about 2,800 files late Thursday, but held back some.Updated: Oct 28, 2017 13:00 IST
President John F. Kennedy in an undated photograph. In what was supposed to be the grand unveiling of government secrets about the 1963 killing of President John F. Kennedy, President Trump didn’t quite deliver the details. (JFK Presidential Library and Museum / Handout / File Photo via REUTERS)
US President Donald Trump said that he would see to the release of all documents into the assassination of John F. Kennedy, with some redactions, in order “to put any and all conspiracy theories to rest”, the media reported.
“I will be releasing all JFK files other than the names and addresses of any mentioned person who is still living,” Trump tweeted on Friday night, saying he consulted with White House chief of staff John Kelly, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and other federal agencies.
“I am doing this for reasons of full disclosure, transparency and in order to put any and all conspiracy theories to rest,” he wrote.
Trump tweeted earlier on Friday that he hoped “just about everything” concerning the 1963 assassination of the former President would be released to the public.
The Trump administration released about 2,800 files late Thursday, with the White House saying that hundreds more would be released with redactions “only in the rarest of circumstances” on a rolling basis over the next six months.
Trump initially said on Thursday evening that he had “no choice” but to withhold information as requested by government agencies, citing national security concerns. Officials indicated that the concerns originated mostly from the CIA and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Thursday marked the federal government’s deadline to release 3,100 unseen files, a deadline that was set by Congress under the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992.
The documents have been held in the National Archives, The Hill magazine reported.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a Fox News interview on Friday evening that the administration was working to expedite the release of the additional documents.
“We are working this weekend. We are going to be working every way possible to expedite the production of these documents as completely as possible and they will be virtually, completely revealed from the FBI files,” he said.
The assassination of Kennedy, who was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald while the President was in a motorcade in Dallas, has been the subject of conspiracy theories for more than 50 years.
Representative John Lewis, a long-time congressman who befriended Kennedy during the civil rights movement in the 1960s, told The Hill this week that he did not think the latest document release would end questions about the 35th president’s death.
“I think there will be people, be historians or scholars and writers, (who) would raise some questions about what happened and how it happened.
“There will be people saying, like they were saying 50 years ago, ‘Why did (Kennedy) go to Texas, why Dallas?” Lewis added.
First Published: Oct 28, 2017 11:32 IST