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Donald Trump Authorises Release Of JFK Assassination Files Despite Concerns From Officials

'Subject to the receipt of further information'.

21/10/2017 14:12 BST | Updated 21/10/2017 18:47 BST
Universal History Archive via Getty Images
The moment President John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963

Donald Trump intends to authorise the release of “classified” files relating to the assassination of 35th US President John F. Kennedy, ignoring concerns from officials.

In a statement on Twitter, Trump revealed he will be allowing the “long blocked” documents to be opened for the first time.

Trump caveated the decision as being “subject to the receipt of further information”.

The move comes against the advice of federal bodies, including the CIA, that have expressed concern at the release of the documents.

The National Security Council warned Trump to withhold a batch of files that could shed more light on the November 1963 assassination.

Legislation passed in 1992 led to the release of millions of papers, memos and other evidence relating to the shooting, carried out by Lee Harvey Oswald.

But a stumbling block presented itself with a final cache of documents, due to be revealed by October 26 this year.

As sitting president, only Trump has the power to override the Security Council’s advice.

Scholars who have studied the assassination welcomed the move as a sign of “transparency”.

“It’s great news that the president is focused on this and that he’s trying to demonstrate transparency. But the question remains whether he will open the library in full — every word in every document, as the law requires,” Phil Shenon who wrote a book on the event and a subsequent inquiry told the Washington Post. 

“And my understanding is that he won’t without infuriating people at the CIA and elsewhere who are determined to keep at least some of the information secret, especially in documents created in the 1990s.”