Former President Donald Trump said he would release still-secret documents related to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy if re-elected to the White House.
“I released a lot, as you know. And I will release everything else,” Trump said in an interview with The Messenger published on Monday.
Kennedy was assassinated at the age of 46 on November 22, 1963, in Dallas. Soon after, Lee Harvey Oswald, a former Marine and onetime defector to the Soviet Union, was arrested and charged with the killings of Kennedy and Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit. Although Oswald denied killing Kennedy and claimed he was a “patsy,” he was never tried — Oswald was shot dead at the age of 24 on national television at the Dallas Police headquarters by nightclub owner Jack Ruby.
The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 was signed into law by former President George H.W. Bush, and there have been multiple delays in document disclosures ever since that time, giving room for conspiracy theories about Kennedy’s death to linger nearly 60 years later.
Trump oversaw the release of some documents during his first term in office, but declined to go through with a full disclosure while citing “identifiable national security, law enforcement, and foreign affairs concerns.” President Joe Biden has also held off on making a full disclosure. While the latest deadline is June 30, there have been intermittent online postings of documents in recent months. The National Archives said in December that over 97% of the collection was available.
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During his interview with The Messenger, Trump was asked if there was anything in the collection about which the public should be “scared” or make the United States look “terrible.”
“Well, I don’t want to comment on that,” Trump replied. “But I will tell you that I have released a lot. I will release the remaining portion very early in my term.”
Kennedy’s nephew, Robert Kennedy Jr., is running against Biden for the Democratic Party’s 2024 nomination and has made headlines in recent days for saying he believes there is “overwhelming” evidence showing the CIA was involved in his uncle’s assassination. The CIA has a study posted to its website about the “lie” linking the agency to the JFK killing.