House Intel Chair Slams Intelligence Community Leaks To Media

Russ Read | Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter

The head of the House intelligence committee is “alarmed” by the intelligence community leaking to the media regarding Russia’s alleged interference in the election without informing Congress.

The CIA has not issued any public statements, and all assertions are based on anonymous leaks.

Congress and the federal government are both currently engaged in concurrent investigations into the allegations that Russia wanted President-elect Donald Trump to win the presidency. FBI Director James Comey agreed with the CIA’s assessment, according to a Washington Post report Friday, however, earlier reports citing lawmakers briefed by the FBI stated the FBI did not concur with the CIA.

“In the course of the House Intelligence Committee’s ongoing oversight of cyber-attacks during the U.S. presidential campaign, we have not received any information from Intelligence Community (IC) agencies indicating that they have developed new assessments on this issue,” said chairman Rep. Devin Nunes in a statement Friday.

Nunes said he was “alarmed” that new information regarding the investigation “continues to leak to the media but has not been provided to Congress,” despite his Dec. 12 letter which requested further information on Russian involvement in the election. Nunes also noted he requested the intelligence community to provide a classified briefing in order to “set the record straight” on its current assessment of the issue.

“Earlier this week, I met separately with [Director] FBI James Comey and DNI [Director of National Intelligence] Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election,” said CIA Director John Brennan in an agency-wide message.

The White House announced that President Barack Obama ordered a full investigation into the claims against Russia last Friday.

While the intelligence community now appears to be in agreement regarding the Russian interference in the election, CIA and FBI officials do not think the Kremlin had a “single purpose” in doing so; intelligence officials also believe the Kremlin wanted to deteriorate confidence in the electoral system.

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