U.S. House Speaker says Clinton should be denied classified intelligence briefings during campaign

2016-07-06 22:59:25 GMT2016-07-07 06:59:25(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

WASHINGTON, July 6 (Xinhua) -- U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday that presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton should not be given classified intelligence briefings, citing her reckless handling of classified information.

Speaking at a news conference, Ryan said he would like Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper to block Clinton from receiving full classified information on national security issues given to presidential nominees after the Democratic Party convention later the month.

As a common practice, U.S. presidential nominees will receive classified intelligence briefings from the DNI after the party conventions in the election year.

"I think the DNI Clapper should deny Hillary Clinton access to classified information during this campaign given how she so recklessly handled classified information," Ryan said.

Ryan was referring to Clinton's use of a private email server at her home to handle her electronic communication while she was Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013.

James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), told a news conference on Tuesday that the FBI will not recommend criminal charges against Clinton after a formal investigation.

But he said the FBI probe found that Clinton was "extremely careless" in handling her work-related information and it was possible that "hostile actors" had gained access to her email account.

It was found that 110 emails in 52 email chains that Clinton handled contained classified information, including eight email chains that contained top secret information, Comey said.

The FBI decision of not to charge Clinton has angered the Republicans in Congress.

Ryan said the decision "looks like" preferential treatment for Clinton by the FBI.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, a Republican, announced Wednesday his committee will hold a hearing Thursday to investigate the matter, where Comey was to testify and explain the FBI decision.

"The FBI's recommendation is surprising and confusing," said Chaffetz in a statement. "The fact pattern presented by Director Comey makes clear Secretary Clinton violated the law. Individuals who intentionally skirt the law must be held accountable."

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who oversees the FBI, is also expected to appear next Tuesday for a hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee on the FBI investigation.

Lynch has already been criticized for holding a private meeting last week with Hillary Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, ahead of the FBI announcement of its probe into the Clinton email case.

The 2016 Democratic National Convention is to be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 25-28, as Clinton will officially become the Democratic nominee. Enditem