According to ABC news, all former presidents "[continue to receive] the President's Daily Brief, a top-secret summary of US intelligence and world events, in a format and style that suits them". This is supposedly a "courtesy" (see).

What is the rationale behind continuing to provide former presidents the PDB? Is this not an (unlikely, but potential) national security risk? How is it delivered, securely? Where is it stipulated that former presidents should continue to receive this information (the Former Presidents Act?)? Of what use is it to those who receive it?

I imagine there is a lot we don't know. What do we?

  • 1
    No sources for a full answer; they do it because it could potentially provide more benefit with less detriment. There may be situations that come up that the former president has insight into that the current administration does not have. There is no harm in hearing the outgoing president's assessment on a given situation when he may have some insight. After all, the advice wouldn't need to be carried out...
    – Hitek
    Jan 18, 2021 at 6:58
  • 1
    There is also the tradition of using former presidents as "elder statesman" emissaries. If they do not remain current they would have to be brought up to speed on short notice.
    – o.m.
    Jan 18, 2021 at 15:44


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