President Trump, a fan of conspiracy theories, said he plans to make thousands of classified government records on John F. Kennedy's assassination public this week, the New York Times reports. True to form, he made the announcement via Twitter on Saturday:
While the news might excite people who believe that the assassination was an elaborate government conspiracy, experts on the November 1963 assassination say we probably won't get any explosive new information that would rewrite the history books. According to Philip Shenon and Larry J. Sabato—two historians who have researched the assassination extensively—the documents could shed light on a trip Lee Harvey Oswald took to Mexico weeks before killing JFK, where he met with Cuban and Russian spies. In a piece for Politico, Shenon and Sabato said that "many" of the previously unseen files center on the trip, during which Oswald "came under intense surveillance" by the FBI and purportedly "spoke openly" about wanting to kill JFK.
The roughly 3,100 documents and 30,000 records slated for release on Thursday mostly come from the FBI, CIA, and the Justice Department, according to Politico. The trove of documents has been protected under a 1992 law aimed at keeping them from the public until October 26, 2017, in part to tamp down conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination—something Trump has dabbled in himself.
In 2016, the president floated the idea that Ted Cruz's dad might have helped kill Kennedy, claiming the man hung out with Lee Harvey Oswald a few weeks before JFK was assassinated. Trump has also lent credence to the conspiracy that Antonin Scalia might have been murdered, and—most infamously—insisted that Barack Obama wasn't born in America.
Trump is the only person at liberty to block the release of the never-before-seen files, which some intelligence agencies have reportedly nudged him to do. But if he decides not to, they'll be published in full on the National Archives' website Thursday, where you will be able to scour them to your heart's content.
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