House Intel chair issues cryptic warning about “serious national security threat”


▶ Watch Video: Rep. Mike Turner says House has to “make certain” there’s a path for Ukraine aid

Washington — The head of the House Intelligence Committee disclosed Wednesday that members of Congress were made aware of information about an unspecified “serious national security threat” and encouraged President Biden to declassify all information relating to the threat.

The revelation from Rep. Mike Turner, an Ohio Republican and the chairman of the House Intelligence panel, came in a cryptic statement issued by the committee. It did not contain any details, except to announce that the committee “has made available to all members of Congress information concerning a serious national security threat.”

“I am requesting that President Biden declassify all information relating to this threat so that Congress, the Administration, and our allies can openly discuss the actions necessary to respond to this threat,” Turner said.

Asked about Turner’s statement, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters that he reached out to the so-called “Gang of Eight” — the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate, and chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees — earlier this week to offer a personal briefing. Sullivan said a briefing for the House members within the group — Turner, Speaker Mike Johnson, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Rep. Jim Hines, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee — has been scheduled for Thursday.

“I’m a bit surprised that Congressman Turner came out publicly today in advance of a meeting on the books for me to go sit with him alongside our intelligence and defense professionals tomorrow,” Sullivan said during the White House press briefing. “I’m not in a position to say anything further today.”

Sullivan later told a reporter that he could say with confidence that the Biden administration is “protecting the national security of the United States and the American people.”

“Americans understand that there are a range of threats and challenges in the world that we’re dealing with every single day, and those threats and challenges range from terrorism to state actors,” he said. “And we have to contend with them and we have to contend with them in a way where we ensure the ultimate security of the American people. I am confident that President Biden in the decisions that he is taking is going to ensure the security of the American people going forward.”

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