House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff denied allegations of leaking confidential information Sunday.
President Donald Trump and Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe attributed leaks of confidential information to members within the House and Senate intelligence committees.
Ratcliffe, citing the leaks, announced Saturday that the House and Senate Select Committees on Intelligence will no longer receive in-person election security briefings.
The move angered Democratic lawmakers and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who slammed the decision as a way to keep Congress less informed.
California Rep. Adam Schiff on Sunday denied the White House’s allegations of leaks coming from within congressional committees, calling the accusation “another falsehood” by President Donald Trump.
Trump and John Ratcliffe, director of national intelligence, accused lawmakers of leaking confidential information, a belief that led to Ratcliffe’s office announcing a significant scaleback in election security briefings to Congress.
“Director Ratcliffe brought information into the committee and the information leaked. Whether it was Shifty Schiff or somebody else, they leaked the information,” Trump said. “And what’s even worse, they leaked the wrong information. And he got tired of it.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Schiff responded to Trump in an interview Sunday with Dana Bash on CNN’s “State of the Union,” calling the accusation a “false rationalization by the president.”
“After the last set of briefings before Congress, the director of national intelligence offered to brief Congress again. So clearly they weren’t concerned about leaks after the last briefing or they wouldn’t have come back to offer another briefing,” Schiff said.
“Something changed, Dana,” Schiff added. “And what changed is of course the president, probably in another fit saying, ‘I don’t want Congress informed.'”
Schiff denied having leaked any of the confidential information and defended his staff against the allegations.
But he also cautioned that he cannot “speak for what all the members of the [House Intelligence Committee] have done or not done, including a lot of the Republican members.” Schiff chairs the House Intelligence Committee, which was one of the congressional groups that played a deep role in Trump’s impeachment last year.
In letters and documents dated Aug. 28, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence told the House and Senate intelligence committees that it will no longer provide in-person briefings on election security. Rather, the office will continue to provide written briefings.
Ratcliffe in those letters indicated the leaks were the chief motivator for the decision to cut the in-person briefings.
Election security is a topic of great concern as the November election quickly approaches. The move to stop in-person briefings angered Democrats, who’ve long accused the Trump administration of dismissing concerns related to election interference by Russia.
Trump’s Democratic rival, Joe Biden, also slammed the decision in a statement Saturday.
“For the DNI to curtail one of the most basic duties of our nonpartisan Intelligence Community — to keep the United States Congress fully informed about threats to our nation, in this case, about the real and rising threat of foreign election interference — is nothing less than a shameless partisan manipulation to protect the personal interests of President Trump,” Biden said.
Ratcliffe defended the decision Sunday, saying in an interview with Fox News that “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.”
Read the original article on Insider