Trump Orders That Some JFK Files Remain Secret

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President Donald Trump has ordered a number of classified documents related to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy to be kept secret for the time being.

The Oct. 26 announcement came as the deadline expired under a 1992 law for the release of 3,000 classified documents, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Most of the 3,000 documents were made public. Trump wrote a memo explaining his decision.

"The American public expects -- and deserves -- its Government to provide as much access as possible to the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records so that the people may finally be fully informed about all aspects of this pivotal event," wrote Trump, according to the Times.

But he went on to note that the CIA and FBI urged some of the information be kept private so as to avoid damaging the U.S.

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"I have no choice -- today -- but to accept those redactions rather than allow potentially irreversible harm to our nation's security," added Trump.

The president requested intelligence officials to review the remaining classified documents and release as many as possible by April 26, 2018, a source told the Times.

Trump referred to the imminent release of the documents in an Oct. 25 tweet.

"The long anticipated release of the #JFKFiles will take place tomorrow. So interesting!" he wrote.

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Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. Authorities arrested Lee Harvey Oswald for the assassination, but Oswald himself was assassinated two days later.

The intervening years have seen widespread speculation about Kennedy's assassination, with many people questioning the official version of events that Oswald acted alone.

One major question pointed to by Politico was Oswald's six-day trip to Mexico City in late September 1963. According to the index of the files to be released, many of them came from the CIA's Mexico City office, including documents prepared by officers involved in the surveillance of Oswald. It is not clear whether these were among the documents Trump ordered to be kept secret.

The National Archives, which holds the files being released, noted in a statement that "we assume that much of what will be released will be tangential to the assassination events."

Ken Hughes, a researcher at the University of Virginia, said that the Kennedy assassination would not be the main focus for him when reviewing the released documents.

"The main thing I get out of these documents is great information about covert operations during the Kennedy administration," Hughes told the Times. "These covert operations were to overthrow and assassinate Fidel Castro of Cuba. They weren't to overthrow and assassinate the president of the United States."

He suggested that people should avoid trying to find a "grand explanation" for the shooting, adding: "Unfortunately the explanation that is best backed by evidence is that one person with a gun can do a lot of harm."

Sources: Politico, Los Angeles Times, Donald J. Trump/Twitter / Featured Image: NASA/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Gage Skidmore/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons, Marina Oswald/Warren Commission/history-matters.com via Wikimedia Commons

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