Whitmer fires back after Trump campaign says she has ‘hatred’ for the president, claims White House knew about threats and didn’t help



Gretchen Whitmer looking at the camera: Michigan Office of the Governor via AP


© Michigan Office of the Governor via AP
Michigan Office of the Governor via AP

  • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the Trump administration was aware of threats against her, and did nothing to reduce their attacks on her.
  • The FBI said it foiled a plot by six men to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and overthrow the state’s government.
  • Jason Miller, a senior advisor for President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign attacked Whitmer after she said Trump was responsible for not condemning white supremacists. 
  • Trump attacked Whitmer in a series of tweets on Thursday night. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer fired back after Jason Miller, a senior advisor for President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, attacked her for reportedly hating Trump just hours after the FBI said it had stopped armed right-wing extremists who were plotting to kidnap her.

“If we want to talk about hatred, then Gov. Whitmer, go look in the mirror — the fact that she wakes up every day with such hatred in her heart for President Trump,” Miller said in a Fox News appearance.

Whitmer told CNN’s Erin Burnett that the administration was aware of threats made against her, and did nothing to reduce their attacks on her.

“I have raised this issue with them (Trump Admin)… I was aware of a lot of the threats being made against me and my family and I asked for their help. They didn’t do anything about it…Here we are. We are very close to a plot that was to kidnap me and to murder…” Whitmer said

Whitmer said that Miller’s attack “tells you everything you need to know about the character of the two people on this ballot that we have to choose from in a few weeks.”

“You know, the fact that after a plot to kidnap and to kill me, this is what they come out with. They start attacking me, as opposed to what good, decent people would do is to check-in and say, ‘Are you OK?’ — which is what Joe Biden did,” Whitmer told Burnett on “Out Front.”

Trump has repeatedly attacked the Democratic governor for her coronavirus response as well as her response to protests following the death of George Floyd.

He again attacked Whitmer on Twitter on Thursday.

“Governor Whitmer of Michigan has done a terrible job,” he tweeted Thursday night. “She locked down her state for everyone, except her husband’s boating activities. The Federal Government provided tremendous help to the Great People of Michigan.

“My Justice Department and Federal Law Enforcement announced…today that they foiled a dangerous plot against the Governor of Michigan. Rather than say thank you, she calls me a White Supremacist—while Biden and Democrats refuse to condemn Antifa, Anarchists, Looters and Mobs that burn down Democrat run cities…” Trump added.

“I do not tolerate ANY extreme violence,” he said in yet another tweet. “Defending ALL Americans, even those who oppose and attack

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Hillicon Valley: House panel says Intelligence Community not equipped to address Chinese threats

Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill’s newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you don’t already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter with this LINK.



a person sitting at a table in front of a sign: Hillicon Valley: House panel says Intelligence Community not equipped to address Chinese threats | House approves bill to send cyber resources to state, local governments


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Hillicon Valley: House panel says Intelligence Community not equipped to address Chinese threats | House approves bill to send cyber resources to state, local governments

Welcome! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech reporter, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills), for more coverage.

THE IC GETS A LESS THAN STELLAR REVIEW: A House committee warned Wednesday that the U.S. intelligence community is not equipped to handle evolving threats from China in the fields of technology and politics.

The House Intelligence Committee detailed its findings in an unclassified summary of a report, approved for release by the panel by voice vote, that delves into the intelligence community’s (IC) capabilities to respond to Chinese threats.

“The United States’ intelligence community has not sufficiently adapted to a changing geopolitical and technological environment increasingly shaped by a rising China and the growing importance of interlocking non-military transnational threats, such as global health, economic security, and climate change,” the committee wrote in its summary.

“Absent a significant realignment of resources, the U.S. government and intelligence community will fail to achieve the outcomes required to enable continued U.S. competition with China on the global stage for decades to come, and to protect the U.S. health and security,” the committee added.

The report said the IC places “insufficient emphasis and focus” on “soft threats,” such as viral pandemics and climate change, and that if the IC did not modernize systems to increase focus on machine learning and artificial intelligence, national security could be undermined.

On the technological front, “China’s continued advancements in cyber and space-based systems also introduce the likelihood of entirely new domains of conflict in the event of a contingency,” which could serve to “extend the battlefield to our political discourse, mobile devices, and the very infrastructure that modern digital communication and communities rely upon,” the lawmakers wrote.

Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) acknowledged the shortcomings laid bare by the report, saying in a statement that “our nation’s intelligence agencies have a lot of work to do to fully address the challenge posed by China.”

Read more here.

MORE CHINA CONCERNS: The House GOP’s China task force unveiled its full report laying out hundreds of recommendations and legislative suggestions to combat threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party on Wednesday.

The report includes more than 400 policy recommendations to address issues ranging from national security concerns, human rights violations, problems with the supply chain, Beijing’s missteps in its handling of the pandemic and China’s overall expanding influence on the world stage.

The task force – which is made up of 15 GOP lawmakers who sit on 11 different committees – was initially slated to be bipartisan before Democrats ultimately opted out before its launch in May.

Read more here.

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House panel says US intelligence community not equipped to address evolving Chinese threats

A House committee warned Wednesday that the U.S. intelligence community is not equipped to handle evolving threats from China in the fields of technology and politics.

The House Intelligence Committee detailed its findings in an unclassified summary of a report, approved for release by the panel by voice vote, that delves into the intelligence community’s (IC) capabilities to respond to Chinese threats.

“The United States’ intelligence community has not sufficiently adapted to a changing geopolitical and technological environment increasingly shaped by a rising China and the growing importance of interlocking non-military transnational threats, such as global health, economic security, and climate change,” the committee wrote in its summary.

“Absent a significant realignment of resources, the U.S. government and intelligence community will fail to achieve the outcomes required to enable continued U.S. competition with China on the global stage for decades to come, and to protect the U.S. health and security,” the committee added.

The report said the IC places “insufficient emphasis and focus” on “soft threats,” such as viral pandemics and climate change, and that if the IC did not modernize systems to increase focus on machine learning and artificial intelligence, national security could be undermined. 

On the technological front, “China’s continued advancements in cyber and space-based systems also introduce the likelihood of entirely new domains of conflict in the event of a contingency,” which could serve to “extend the battlefield to our political discourse, mobile devices, and the very infrastructure that modern digital communication and communities rely upon,” the lawmakers wrote.

Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTrump official releases unverified Russian intel on Clinton previously rejected by Senate panel Schiff subpoenas Homeland Security, charges ‘unlawful obstruction’ Schiff to subpoena top DHS official, alleges whistleblower deposition is being stonewalled MORE (D-Calif.) acknowledged the shortcomings laid bare by the report, saying in a statement that “our nation’s intelligence agencies have a lot of work to do to fully address the challenge posed by China.”

“After 9/11, we reoriented towards a mission to protect the homeland, and were very successful. But after two decades, the IC’s capacity to address hard targets like China has waned,” Schiff said. “Absent a significant and immediate reprioritization and realignment of resources, we will be ill-prepared to compete with China — diplomatically, economically, and militarily — on the global stage for decades to come.”

Committee staff reviewed thousands of assessments and conducted hours of interviews with intelligence community officials in compiling the report, which recommended a series of steps to ensure the IC can keep up with evolving Chinese threats.

Those recommendations include the White House conducting a review of the IC’s budget, the IC prioritizing its training of employees on China-focused issues and the formation of a “bipartisan, bicameral congressional study group” to evaluate if changes need to be made.

“It’s my hope that the Intelligence Community will work hand-in-hand with the congressional oversight committees to make these necessary changes quickly. We should all have the same goal — ensuring the U.S. and its intelligence

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Woman accused of sending ricin letter to White House charged with making threats against the president

A letter sent to the White House containing the toxic powder ricin has been traced back to Pascale Ferrier, a woman who was arrested on Sunday while trying to cross the U.S. border from Canada, authorities said Tuesday. Ferrier has been charged with making threats against the president of the United States. 

At her initial court appearance in Buffalo on Tuesday, Ferrier asked the court to appoint a federal defender, which will be paid for by American taxpayers. That defender requested an identity hearing, in which the court would determine that she is in fact the person named in the criminal complaint and the arrest warrant, as well as a probable cause hearing. 

Ferrier’s next hearings, which will include the identity and probable cause hearing, were scheduled for September 28. She was returned to the custody of U.S. Marshals. 

Court documents released Tuesday detail how on Friday, the U.S. Secret Service flagged the letter postmarked from Canada to the FBI. The FBI found that it “contained a white, powdery material,” which was later confirmed to be ricin.

The letter also contained a note Ferrier allegedly wrote to the president, calling him “The Ugly Tyrant Clown”  and claiming he, “…ruin[ed] USA and lead them to disaster,” according to the documents.

“I have US cousins, then I don’t want the next 4 years with you as president. Give up and remove your application for this election,” Ferrier allegedly wrote to Mr. Trump. “So I made a “Special Gift” for you to make a decision. This gift is in this letter. If it doesn’t work, I’ll find better recipe for another poison, or I might use my gun when I’ll be able to come. Enjoy! FREE REBEL SPIRIT!”

The affidavit claims that Ferrier made similar negative comments about the President on her social media accounts.

pascale-ferrier.jpg
A mug shot of Pascale Ferrier

The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office


Law enforcement officials said they learned during the toxin screening that six additional letters sent from Canada had been turned over to FBI field offices in Texas earlier in the week. Those letters were allegedly addressed to individuals employed at penitentiaries and detention centers in the state. The letters also allegedly contained a powdery substance, had matching language, and were similarly signed “FREE REBEL SPIRIT.” Law enforcement officials said they were also able to identify her fingerprints on four of the letters in San Antonio.

Ferrier was previously arrested in March 2019 by the Mission Police in Texas for weapons possession and was transferred into ICE custody. According to court documents, the letters sent to Texas were addressed to individuals that worked at facilities at which she was held during her detention in 2019.

When Ferrier was arrested Sunday while trying to enter the U.S. from the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, she allegedly told CBP officers she was “…wanted by the FBI for the ricin letters” and had a gun and a knife in her possession.

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House Homeland Security Hearing Examines Worldwide Threats

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (announces that he will issue a subpoena to compel acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to testify before beginning a hearing about ‘worldwide threats to the homeland’ in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill September 17, 2020 in Washington, DC. An August Government Accountability Office report found that Wolf’s appointment by the Trump Administration, which has regularly skirted the Senate confirmation process, was invalid and a violation of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. Pool Photo by Chip Somodevilla/UPI

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House Hearing On Homeland Threats : NPR

FBI Director Christopher Wray, pictured on Capitol Hill on Feb. 5, is briefing House members on security threats on Thursday.

Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images


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Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

FBI Director Christopher Wray, pictured on Capitol Hill on Feb. 5, is briefing House members on security threats on Thursday.

Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

A House committee has convened a hearing on threats to the homeland with top intelligence and security officials — albeit with some notable absences.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe is not appearing after recently announcing changes to how members of Congress would be briefed on election threats. In a statement on Wednesday, he reiterated that he does not intend to give broad briefings “in order to protect sources and methods,” although he said he still will talk with small groups of select lawmakers.

In August, Ratcliffe said he would not give any in-person briefings, but recently agreed to hold more limited face-to-face meetings.

The House Homeland Security Committee on Thursday is expected to hear from FBI Director Christopher Wray and the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Christopher Miller. (Follow updates on the hearing here.)

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf was subpoenaed to appear, too. The department sought to send acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli instead, but the committee rejected the request.

The status and duties of Wolf and Cuccinelli have been questioned by the watchdog agency Government Accountability Office, which opined last month that neither man is serving appropriately in his ostensible role with the agency because of irregularities involved with how they were named.

Cuccinelli said on Wednesday evening that the department’s position now is that Wolf, who has been performing the duties of DHS’s secretary for months and been an important deputy to President Trump, is a “pending nominee” for his job awaiting Senate confirmation. Accordingly, it would be inappropriate for him to appear before the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday, Cuccinelli said.

“In light of that precedent, DHS offered to accommodate [the panel’s] request to hear about threats. I had testimony prepared and had my schedule clear to show up at this morning’s hearing,” Cuccinelli said. “Instead, the committee majority decided that they would rather put on a show for the media. Instead of serving the American people and working to keep them safe, they would rather use the American people’s time and money to stage a political spectacle.”

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Live Updates: House Hearing On Homeland Threats : NPR

FBI Director Christopher Wray, pictured on Capitol Hill on Feb. 5, is briefing House members on security threats on Thursday.

Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images


hide caption

toggle caption

Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

FBI Director Christopher Wray, pictured on Capitol Hill on Feb. 5, is briefing House members on security threats on Thursday.

Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

A House committee has convened a hearing on threats to the homeland with top intelligence and security officials — albeit with some notable absences.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe is not appearing after recently announcing changes to how members of Congress would be briefed on election threats. In a statement on Wednesday, he reiterated that he does not intend to give broad briefings “in order to protect sources and methods,” although he said he still will talk with small groups of select lawmakers.

In August, Ratcliffe said he would not give any in-person briefings, but recently agreed to hold more limited face-to-face meetings.

The House Homeland Security Committee on Thursday is expected to hear from FBI Director Christopher Wray and the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Christopher Miller. (Follow updates on the hearing here.)

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf was subpoenaed to appear, too. The department sought to send acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli instead, but the committee rejected the request.

The status and duties of Wolf and Cuccinelli have been questioned by the watchdog agency Government Accountability Office, which opined last month that neither man is serving appropriately in his ostensible role with the agency because of irregularities involved with how they were named.

Cuccinelli said on Wednesday evening that the department’s position now is that Wolf, who has been performing the duties of DHS’s secretary for months and been an important deputy to President Trump, is a “pending nominee” for his job awaiting Senate confirmation. Accordingly, it would be inappropriate for him to appear before the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday, Cuccinelli said.

“In light of that precedent, DHS offered to accommodate [the panel’s] request to hear about threats. I had testimony prepared and had my schedule clear to show up at this morning’s hearing,” Cuccinelli said. “Instead, the committee majority decided that they would rather put on a show for the media. Instead of serving the American people and working to keep them safe, they would rather use the American people’s time and money to stage a political spectacle.”

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House approves bill to secure internet-connected federal devices against cyber threats

The House on Monday passed legislation to improve the security of federal internet-connected devices, with the bill garnering bipartisan support. 

The Internet of Things (IoT) Cybersecurity Improvement Act, passed unanimously by the House, would require all internet-connected devices purchased by the federal government — including computers, mobile devices and other products with the ability to connect to the internet — to comply with minimum security recommendations issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. 

The legislation would also require private sector groups providing devices to the federal government to notify agencies if the internet-connected device has a vulnerability that could leave the government open to attacks. 

The bill is sponsored in the House by Reps. Robin KellyRobin Lynne KellyRaces heat up for House leadership posts Battle looms over Biden health care plan if Democrats win big Lawmakers set for tearful goodbye to John Lewis MORE (D-Ill.) and Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdHouse Democrats’ campaign arm reserves .6M in ads in competitive districts Trump, GOP seek to rebut Democratic narrative on night one ‘Trump show’ convention sparks little interest on K Street MORE (R-Texas) and more than two dozen others.

The bill was approved by the House Oversight and Reform Committee last year. Committee Chairwoman Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn Bosher MaloneyBusiness groups back pandemic insurance bill modeled on post-9/11 law Democrats reveal Medicaid chief’s spending on high-paid consultants The Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by National Industries for the Blind – Prudent or ‘pathetic’? GOP senators plan to vote on coronavirus relief Thursday MORE (D-N.Y.) said on the House floor Monday that the bill would help address the “silent war” the U.S. government faces from hackers on a daily basis. 

“Currently there are no national standards to ensure the security of these connected devices,” Maloney said. “Protecting our nation from cyber threats is an ongoing, interactive process that requires established, baseline standards and constant vigilance.”

Both Hurd and Kelly spoke on the House floor in support of the legislation, with Kelly noting that she believed it is a “strong bill that I think can be passed by both chambers and signed into law.”

Hurd said the bill would help the U.S. government “take advantage of technology before it takes advantage of us.”

“The Internet of Things is showing just how innovative humans can be, but like most innovations, IoT has the potential to be misused and abused by bad actors,” Hurd said. “If our security practices for using the Internet of Things does not evolve as our use of it grows, then we will find out how innovative criminals, hackers and hostile foreign governments can be.”

The legislation has also been introduced in the Senate, where it is primarily sponsored by Sens. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate panel seeks documents in probe of DHS whistleblower complaint Microsoft warns Russia, China and Iran targeting US election Intel panel rebuffs request to share info for GOP’s Obama-era probes MORE (D-Va.) and Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerCongress needs to finalize space weather bill

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DPH commissioner, other officials have received threats after cancellation of high school football season, House speaker says

The Department of Public Health commissioner and other state officials have received threats over the department’s recommendation that Connecticut high schools refrain from football this fall, Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz said in a Facebook post Saturday.



a group of baseball players standing on top of a field: Coach Joe Aresimowicz, shown directing a Berlin High School football practice in 2018, posted a plea on Facebook to stop threats against state officials over the cancellation of the football season.


© Cloe Poisson / Hartford Courant/Hartford Courant/TNS
Coach Joe Aresimowicz, shown directing a Berlin High School football practice in 2018, posted a plea on Facebook to stop threats against state officials over the cancellation of the football season.

Aresimowicz, who also coaches the Berlin High football team, pleaded for the threats to stop.

“I’ve been made aware that many threats have been sent to the DPH Commissioner and other state officials,” Aresimowicz wrote on his personal page. “Just like many players, coaches and parents, I too am upset about high school football being canceled. I also spoke my piece about how I believe the Commissioner of Public Health got this wrong. Despite our feelings, we cannot tolerate threatening people! What the heck happened to disagreeing and even being mad without this nonsense. Please stop!!!! The kids are looking at us to show them how they should act when they’re adults!”



a group of baseball players standing on top of a grass covered field: Berlin head coach Joe Aresimowicz.


© Brad Horrigan / Hartford Courant/Hartford Courant/TNS
Berlin head coach Joe Aresimowicz.

Glenn Lungarini, executive director of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, similarly asked those angry about the cancellation of fall football to refrain from threats.

“All are entitled to their opinion and emotions, but threatening comments are not acceptable,” Lungarini tweeted. “I am willing to speak with anyone, but will not condone threats to any member of DPH, state officials, or CIAC staff.”

The CIAC announced Friday that it will not sanction full-contact football this fall. In explaining that decision, the CIAC cited DPH’s guidance that the sport was unsafe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some local superintendents had voiced reluctance to proceed with football without a go-ahead from DPH.

“Without DPH support, the CIAC cannot move forward with a full-contact season as it would place superintendents and boards of education in the impossible position of acting against the recommendation of a state agency,” the CIAC wrote in a statement Friday.

DPH has repeatedly cautioned about the dangers of full-contact football, suggesting a 7-on-7 version instead.

With the cancellation of the fall season, football teams will still able to condition as a team but will not be able to play games. Lungarini said Friday that the CIAC will consider combines, passing leagues and other activities as alternate options for football players in the fall.

Students and coaches have expressed frustration with DPH’s recommendation and the CIAC’s decision, with some students organizing a protest set for Sunday in West Hartford’s Blueback Square.

“There’s a part pare of me that’s angry, there’s a part of me that’s crushed, and there’s a part of me that’s sad,” Stafford/Somers/East Windsor coach Brian Mazzone said Friday. “There’s no way I can go five days with these kids. There’s no way I can keep these kids engaged [without games].”

Representatives from DPH and the governor’s office did not

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Schiff asks intel officials to brief House panel on election security threats

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffRussia ‘amplifying’ concerns around mail-in voting to undermine election: report Democrats demand answers on report DHS withheld Russian election interference intelligence Top House Democrats demand Ratcliffe hold previously scheduled election security briefings MORE (D-Calif.) on Friday formally requested that senior officials within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) brief the House panel on election security threats later this month.

The request to participate in the classified briefing came days after Director of National Intelligence John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeRussia ‘amplifying’ concerns around mail-in voting to undermine election: report Top Democrats press Trump to sanction Russian individuals over 2020 election interference efforts Democrats demand answers on report DHS withheld Russian election interference intelligence MORE announced that ODNI would no longer conduct in-person congressional election security briefings and would instead submit written assessments.

Schiff requested that William Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, along with Intelligence Community Threats Executive Shelby Pierson and other ODNI officials who previously briefed Congress on election security concerns participate in a Sept. 17 classified House Intelligence briefing.

The House chairman wrote that the briefing would focus on “election security, foreign malign influence, and election interference,” with Schiff noting that he “expects” Evanina and Pierson to participate.

The chairman also sent the request for a briefing to other agencies that have participated in classified election security briefings in February and July, including the FBI, CIA, National Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and their Office of Intelligence and Analysis.

ODNI did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment on the requested briefing.

Democrats including Schiff have criticized Ratcliffe for suspending the in-person briefings, with Schiff and House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Mnuchin, Pelosi reach informal deal to avoid government shutdown | Trump eviction ban tests limits of CDC authority | Initial jobless claims hit 881,000; unadjusted claims tick up Mnuchin, Pelosi reach informal deal to avoid government shutdown Ending counterproductive, counterintuitive regulation MORE (D-Calif.) saying in a joint statement last week that the decision constituted a “shocking abdication” of ODNI’s “lawful responsibility to keep the Congress currently informed.”

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGermany says Kremlin critic was poisoned with same nerve agent used in UK attack Democrats demand Ratcliffe resume in-person congressional election security briefings The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Trump encouraged to call for calm during Wisconsin visit MORE (R-Fla.) put out a statement earlier this week noting that Ratcliffe had promised to continue providing in-person briefings to the Senate panel on election security, but emphasizing that “congressional oversight of intelligence activities now faces a historic crisis.”

Ratcliffe said during an appearance on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures” earlier this week that he made the decision to suspend the in-person briefings following “leaks” of information from past briefings.

“I reiterated to Congress, look, I’m going to keep you fully and currently informed, as required

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