NEW YORK – Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), will begin receiving regular intelligence briefings next week from national security officials in the Obama administration, a campaign spokeswoman confirmed Thursday night.
It is customary for major-party presidential candidates to receive intelligence briefings following their nominating conventions, and Romney and Ryan are nearly finished with the required security clearance process.
“For the last several weeks, the Romney campaign has been in touch with the intelligence community to arrange intelligence briefings for Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan, consistent with tradition,” Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said. “They will begin next week and, beyond that, we will have no further comment.”
The Associated Press first reported Thursday that Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, would soon begin receiving the briefings.
As Romney responded this week to the deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt, he had no privileged information from intelligence officials. He and his advisers have been relying mostly on published news accounts and monitoring Twitter to follow developments overseas. Romney struggled with his responses and was criticized for issuing a statement Tuesday night before the full gravity of the attacks were known.