President Trump said Saturday morning he will allow the release of the classified files related to former President John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963.
"Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened," Trump tweeted.
Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 21, 2017
Trump's announcement counters a report that predicted the president was likely going to block the release of some of the documents by the National Archives, which cited pressure from the CIA over possibly harmful national security information being revealed.
Still, White House spokesperson Lindsay Walters told Politico Magazine that the Trump administration was trying "to ensure that the maximum amount of data can be released to the public."
The White House later put out a statement couching Trump's pledge to release the files on one caveat.
"The President believes that these documents should be made available in the interests of full transparency unless agencies provide a compelling and clear national security or law enforcement justification otherwise," a White House official said, according to an afternoon press pool report.
The deadline for the National Archives to release the 3,100 documents, primarily from the CIA and FBI, is Oct. 26. The date was established by the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, which was signed into law by former President George H.W. Bush in an attempt to minimize conspiracy theories about Kennedy's death.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., led a group of bipartisan lawmakers urging Trump earlier this month to allow full access to the classified documents.
"Transparency in government is critical not only to ensuring accountability; it's also essential to understanding our nation's history," Grassley said in a statement. "The assassination of President Kennedy occurred at a pivotal time for our nation, and nearly 54 years later, we are still learning the details of how our government responded and what it may have known beforehand. Americans deserve a full picture of what happened that fateful day in November 1963. Shining a light on never-before-seen government records is essential to filling in these blank spaces in our history."
Longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone claimed he lobbied Trump personally over the phone on Wednesday to release the documents, according to Infowars' Alex Jones, the Politico Magazine report said. Stone congratulated Trump on his decision in a tweet Saturday morning.