Both major presidential candidates are qualified to receive briefings on classified intelligence, according to a former CIA director who said he has never been concerned about the issue.

"I have not had concerns like that in the past," John McLaughlin, who served as acting director of the CIA in 2004, said Monday in a CSPAN interview. "I think what would really disqualify them would be breaking the rules after the briefing. In other words, if after such a briefing they simply went out and talked openly about everything that had been discussed in terms of [that] violated the understanding that they were to be discreet about what they heard.

"That I think would ultimately disqualify them, but I'm not aware in the past of anything someone has done before the briefings that would disqualify them," McLaughlin said.

He added that candidates can receive anywhere from one to several of the briefings, and that while the head of the CIA will sometimes conduct them, it is often conducted by subordinates.

"Candidate Bill Clinton, I think, had one of these briefings for an hour or two," McLaughlin said. "Sen. Kerry, as I recall, had at least two and maybe more. I certainly did two. There may have been some additional briefings with him. There are times when candidates have four, five sessions ... as the campaign goes along."

Related Story:
The briefings are a tradition extending back to 1952, when President Harry Truman deemed it worthwhile for candidates to begin receiving classified information on threats around the globe before they potentially assumed the presidency.

However, Republicans this year have argued Hillary Clinton is unfit to receive the briefings due to the manner in which she mishandled classified information as secretary of state. Democrats have responded that Donald Trump is unfit because of his rhetoric.

"Here's how I see it," McLaughlin said. "I think when someone becomes a presidential candidate, they are entitled to these briefings. You simply have to trust that having reached that stage of political achievement, that they're going to handle these briefings responsibly. That's kind of where I am on that."