Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said he ended in-person security briefings to minimize lawmakers ‘leaking’ and ‘politicizing’ classified information, claiming lawmakers were using the information ‘to create a narrative that simply isn’t true – that somehow Russia is a greater national security threat than China.’
‘Within minutes of one of those briefings ending, a number of members of Congress went to a number of different outlets and leaked classified information for political purposes,’ DNI John Ratcliffe told Fox News’ ‘Sunday Morning Futures’ host Maria Bartiromo.
“The action that I announced yesterday is entirely consistent with that. I reiterated to Congress, look, I’m going to keep you fully and currently informed, as required by the law. But I also said, we’re not going to do a repeat of what happened a month ago, when I did more than what was required, at the request of Congress, to brief not just the Oversight Committees, but every member of Congress,” he said.
“And yet, within minutes of that — one of those briefings ending, a number of members of Congress went to a number of different publications and leaked classified information, again, for political purposes, to create a narrative that simply isn’t true, that somehow Russia is a greater national security threat than China,” he added.
“China is using a massive and sophisticated influence campaign, worse than any other country. When we talk about influence, a malign foreign influence, what China is doing that no one else is doing…they are engaging in the local, state, and federal levels. Beijing is threatening economic ruin in, for instance, districts of members of Congress, threatening ruin in businesses, factories and jobs, unless members of Congress support pro-China policies or oppose policies of administrations, or of this administration that are tough on China. So that’s the kind of influence – malign influence – that China is exerting at a level that no other country is matching, and it’s something that should concern every American,” John said.
“When China is doing it at the local, state, federal level, it’s engaging – they attempt to lobby business leaders, elected officials, members of Congress and to influence them. They try to do that overly – if they are not successful, then they coerce, intimidate, bully – they use middlemen and proxies to try to influence and ultimately blackmail, in some cases, or extort elected officials, business leaders for them to support pro-China policies, and again this is systematic on a scale that no other is doing,” He added.
“China poses a greater national security threat to the U.S. than any other nation – economically, militarily and technologically. That includes threats of election influence and interference,” Ratcliffe told Fox News in a statement.
Ratcliffe went on to tell host Maria Bartiromo that “Russia wants a seat at the table of the international order.”
“China wants to sit at the head of the table. China has a plan, through the Belt and Road Initiative, the made-in-China Initiative, the Thousand Talents program, military-civil fusion laws that require companies to spy for the government through 5G and Huawei, all of that is design to challenge U.S. superiority in every respect, and to sit at the head of the table, and really set the rules and standards and norms for international — in the international marketplace,” he added.
“I pledged to a bipartisan group of senators that I would look at all of the underlying intelligence surrounding the intelligence community’s assessment of Russia’s interference and this idea of Trump-Russia collusion,” Ratcliffe told “Sunday Morning Futures.” “But I’m not going to prejudice John Durham’s work in connection with that, so we’ve had to coordinate with his office about the timing of that. But I’m optimistic that I’ll be declassifying additional documents soon.”
Ratcliffe said he had spoken with Durham.
“He’s looking at the same documents that I am,” Ratcliffe said. “He’s not sharing his findings or the work that he’s doing. But I’m coordinating with him to make sure that he has the intelligence documents that he needs to do his work. And what I don’t want to do is declassify something that might prejudice his work. So we’re going to have to coordinate as we go forward with the completion of his work with my ability to declassify documents.”
“I’m going to continue to follow the law. I’m going to continue to keep Congress informed. But we have had a pandemic of information being leaked out of the intelligence community,” Ratcliffe, director of national intelligence, said Sunday on Fox News. “And I’m going to take the measures to make sure that that stops.”
President Donald Trump said National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe made the decision because the administration ‘got tired’ of intelligence about election security leaking from Congress.
‘They leaked the information … and what’s even worse, they leaked the wrong information and we got tired of it,’ Trump told reporters while attending a briefing on Hurricane Laura in Orange, Texas.
Edited by staff
Source: Fox News/Daily Mail/The Hill/Dallas News