The Wisconsin Republican complained that the situation was grossly exaggerated.
Ron Johnson, chair of the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, stated on Sunday that worries about the discontinuation of in-person briefings on election security for the House and Senate intelligence committees were exaggerated.
“This is being exaggerated way too much. There is no surprise here; I can probably count on one or two fingers what is genuinely classified in those briefings, Johnson remarked in a tense discussion with Dana Bash on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
In a letter dated August 28, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence informed the House and Senate intelligence committees that it will continue to offer written briefings on election security risks. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said that because of leaks from Congress, in-person briefings would no longer be given.
Bash questioned Johnson about whether he thought Russia was actively trying to sway the 2020 election, and Johnson responded in the affirmative. The Wisconsin Republican, however, also referred to Democratic allegations of Trump campaign collusion with Russia as “doing Putin’s work for him” and made fun of the California Democrat who serves as House intelligence committee chairman.
According to Johnson, we are aware that “foreign actors are trying to influence, trying to undermine our political system.” “What Adam Schiff did with this false narrative, what the media did with its false portrayal of Russian involvement with the Trump campaign, a criminal investigation, and a special counsel — that is what has destabilized our politics,” said Adam Schiff.
Ratcliffe’s modification has drawn criticism from some who claim that switching from verbal briefings to written statements will prevent Congressmen from interrogating those responsible for ensuring the security of American elections.
Later, in an interview with Bash, Schiff criticized President Donald Trump for attempting to censor information and claimed that the written briefings were insufficient.
According to Schiff, “You can put things in a written report that are incorrect, and you can’t be questioned about it.” “You can conceal the truth when you can hide behind documents or withhold documents without having to respond to inquiries about it. And in this instance, hiding the truth means hiding the fact that Russians are once more interfering to support the president and his reelection.
Trump implied that Schiff was in charge of information leaks on Saturday at a roundtable in Orange, Texas.
Director Ratcliffe presented information to the committee, and it was leaked, according to Trump. “Whoever leaked the material, whether it was Shifty Schiff or someone else, did it. And to make matters worse, they released inaccurate information. And he became weary of it. So he wants to do it in a different venue because the committee contains leakers.
The California Democrat disputed the claim and insisted that neither he nor any of his staff members had divulged any secret material they had learned in briefings.
Schiff responded, “Neither have I nor my staff. “I can’t speak for what all the committee members, including many of the Republican members, have done or haven’t done,” the speaker said.
Additionally, before November, Schiff did not rule out calling witnesses from the intelligence community to appear before his committee on election security.
“That is unquestionably a tool that we could employ. We’ll compel the intelligence community to provide Congress with the data we require, he declared. And the American people should be aware of what Russia is up to, that their president is unwilling to oppose Vladimir Putin, and that to be aware that senators like Ron Johnson are knowingly spreading a Kremlin false narrative about Joe Biden.
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