After a series of leaks of classified information, the Trump administration’s Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) announced that it would be ending in-person briefings to Congress on election security, opting instead to offer the information in written form, according to Politico.
As could be expected, the move away from in-person briefings has left Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) outraged. In a joint statement with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), Pelosi called it “a shocking abdication” of the administration’s “lawful responsibility to keep the Congress currently informed,” the Washington Examiner reported.
“This is a shocking abdication of its lawful responsibility to keep the Congress currently informed, and a betrayal of the public’s right to know how foreign powers are trying to subvert our democracy,” Pelosi and Schiff wrote, according to the Examiner.
They went on: “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.”
“Protect our sources”
The statement from Pelosi and Schiff came after an announcement by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe that his office would be making changes in an effort to dial back leaks.
“In order to ensure clarity and consistency across the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s engagements with Congress on elections, the ODNI will primarily meet its obligation to keep Congress fully and currently informed leading into the Presidential election through written finished intelligence products,” he said, according to the Examiner.
Ratcliffe also said the change would “better protect our sources and methods and most sensitive intelligence from additional unauthorized disclosures or misuse,” the Examiner reported.
Of course, that wasn’t enough to satisfy Pelosi and company.
“Leakers on the committee”
But unlike Democrats in Congress, President Donald Trump and those in his administration care about keeping America’s secrets under wraps — and if Congress can’t promise to keep the leakers in check, then other accommodations will have to be made.
That was the message shared by the president himself at an event in Texas on Saturday.
“Director Ratcliffe brought information into the committee, and the information leaked,” Trump said, as Politico reported. “Whether it was Shifty Schiff or somebody else, they leaked the information… And what’s even worse, they leaked the wrong information.”
According to Trump, Ratcliffe simply “got tired of it.” Enough is enough.