Donald Trump holds back hundreds of secret JFK assassination files

US President Donald Trump has ordered the release of thousands of secret John Fitzgerald Kennedy assassination documents, but held back hundreds more for further review, White House officials say.
Key points:

Some 300 of the 3,100 secret JFK files are being placed under review for six months.

The FBI and the CIA reportedly requested that Mr Trump withhold the files.

The decision to withhold the files further has already re-ignited conspiracy theories.

“I have no choice,” Mr Trump reportedly said in a memo.

Mr Trump’s decision means the National Archives has released 2,800 previously secret documents, but the remaining 300-plus files will be placed under a 180-day review so government agencies can again scrutinise the remaining documents and justify why any should be withheld, the officials said.

Officials say Mr Trump will impress upon federal agencies that JFK files should stay secret after the six-month review “only in the rarest cases”.

The National Archives published the released files on its website shortly after the announcement.

“The President wants to ensure there is full transparency here and is expecting that the agencies do a better job in reducing any conflicts within the redactions and get this information out as quickly as possible,” one official said.

Another official said: “There does remain sensitive information in the records that could compromise the identify of informants or intelligence operations.”

Much of Thursday (local time) — when the release was expected due to a 1992 order — passed without a word from the White House or the National Archives except silence, creating uncertainty as to how the Government would comply with a law requiring the records to come out by the end of the day.

That is, unless the US President was persuaded by intelligence agencies to hold some back.

White House officials said the FBI and CIA made the most requests within the Government to withhold some information.