Former Acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell said Tuesday that China is exercising a vast espionage campaign against U.S. leaders that goes way beyond the revelation that Democratic California Rep. Eric Swalwell had a relationship with an accused Chinese spy.
“Look, my point … is that what’s the tip of the iceberg is members of Congress, governors, local officials being leveraged by the Chinese — this has been going on for years and Eric Swalwell has been part of the distraction campaign,” Grenell told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
U.S. intelligence officials say that Christine Fang, or Fang Fang, an alleged Chinese spy, infiltrated the offices of multiple politicians in the San Francisco area — including Swalwell, Axios reported in December. Swalwell has refused to discuss whether his relationship with Fang was purely professional or not. (RELATED: Tucker Carlson: ‘Eric Swalwell … Used His Office To Promote Beijing’s Talking Points’ While Sitting On The House Intelligence Committee)
But Grenell said Tuesday that Swalwell needs to reveal more. “No more excuses that what Eric was dealing with was classified information so he can’t talk about it,” he told Fox. “The intelligence community knows exactly what the problem is and we are having a crisis when it comes to the infiltration of Chinese spies in academia and our political circles.”
Swalwell said there was no “wrongdoing” committed during his relationship with Fang and insisted the connection was released because of his opposition to President Donald Trump and his support for impeaching him.
But Grenell said that Swalwell “has tried to play the game of ‘look over there’ and really tried to create something that is not there with Russia. Look, Russia is a problem. But China is a crisis.”
Swalwell steadfastly maintained that President Donald Trump worked on “Russia’s behalf” and was an agent of the Kremlin after the Mueller report said there had been no collusion between Trump and Russia.
The former acting DNI said that Swalwell tried to focus America’s attention on Russia while “taking the Chinese line and we’ve got to get to the bottom of this.” Grenell urged the congressional intelligence committees to “start acting” and to strip Swalwell of his membership on the House Intelligence Committee.
“They need to do a classified briefing on exactly what the intel community knows about not just Eric Swalwell, but the rest of members of members of Congress and others — politicians who are being leveraged by the Chinese.” (RELATED: Michael Flynn: US Intelligence Effort ‘Should Have Been Focused On Swalwell’ Who Had ‘Massive Problem’)
Grenell also encouraged the members of the Gang of Eight, those congressional leaders concerned with intelligence matters, to have a classified briefing on Swalwell and the extent of Chinese espionage against America.
“If they are not going to have a classified briefing, then we need to start having members of Congress step up, go around the Gang of Eight and ask for this classified briefing.”