Washington | There will be no more election security intelligence briefings to U.S. parliamentarians, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) told Congress officials on Saturday, which Democrats say will cover Russian interference.
“I believe this approach helps ensure, to the extent possible, that information provided by the DNI’s office to Congress in support of your oversight responsibilities over election security, malignant foreign influence, and election interference does not be neither misunderstood nor politicized, ”wrote the director, John Ratcliffe, in a letter dated August 28, addressed to parliamentary officials of the two major parties and revealed Saturday by the American press.
“It will also better protect our sources and methods as well as the most sensitive information against other unauthorized disclosure or abuse,” added Mr. Ratcliffe, a former Republican parliamentarian from Texas appointed to head the services of intelligence by President Donald Trump at the end of February.
Congress will still have access to classified written reports, but lawmakers will no longer be able to question officials in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) about what they learn.
“Undoubtedly Schiff the deceitful, but also others, LEFT the information towards the Fake News”, tweeted the president Saturday, in reference to Adam Schiff, the chairman of the Committee on Intelligence in the House of Representatives. Without providing any evidence for this accusation, which he has already made several times during his mandate.
Democrats in Congress reacted with fury, calling the move “shameful” and accusing Mr. Trump of wanting to cover up Russian interference in the November election.
Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, asked the intelligence services to resume their briefings. “If they are not prepared to do so, we will examine the full panoply of tools available to the House to compel due diligence,” he said in a statement.