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John F Kennedy files: government releases classified assassination documents

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Only a few hours before a 25-year deadline was set to expire, the White House confirmed that it would release nearly 3,000 previously secret documents related to the 1963 assassination of John F Kennedy.

We’re now waiting on the National Archives to upload the documents online, which was promised shortly after a presidential memo. We’ll start sifting through them as soon as they’re available.

In that memo, Donald Trump blocked the release of an unknown number of files, saying he had “no choice” but to accept the concerns of agencies such as the FBI and CIA. For days, he had hyped the release of the documents as a victory for the public that would be “so interesting!”

On Thursday, though, he said that he had to bow to “national security, law enforcement, and foreign affairs concerns” raised by the agencies. He ordered a 180-day review for the agencies to reconsider their redactions, meaning another deadline for documents: 26 April 2018.

Officials said they would not comment on conspiracy theories, including one propagated by Trump, about the father of a sitting senator. “Honestly we’re not going to comment on the content of the files,” the official said. “It’s the practice of the National Archives to leave it up to the researchers.”

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