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Democrats howl at Director of National Intelligence’s move for written election briefings

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe notified Congress Saturday that his office will primarily provide written briefings on foreign election interference, instead of in-person briefings, prompting howls of protest from Democrats.

Mr. Ratcliffe said in letters to several congressional leaders that he’s taking the step “to ensure clarity and consistency.” He also said the move will “better protect our sources and methods” from unauthorized disclosures.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff, California Democrats, reacted angrily.

“The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has informed us that it will no longer provide briefings to Members of Congress, including the House and Senate Intelligence committees, on foreign efforts to interfere in our upcoming election … the American people have both the right and the need to know that another nation, Russia, is trying to help decide who their president should be,” they said in a joint statement.

They said Mr. Ratcliffe’s office has canceled planned in-person briefings for mid-September.

“This is shameful and—coming only weeks before the election—demonstrates that the Trump administration is engaged in a politicized effort to withhold election-related information from Congress and the American people at the precise moment that greater transparency and accountability is required,” they said. “This keeps both the American people and the Congress in the dark, when both are in need of the information. We expect the administration and Intelligence Community to keep us fully and accurately informed, and resume the briefings. If they are unwilling to, we will consider the full range of tools available to the House to compel compliance.”

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Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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