House intel chief: ‘Unacceptable’ intel officials not cooperating in Russia probe

The House Intelligence Committee chairman rebuked intelligence agencies on Wednesday evening for their refusal to grant a briefing request on cyberattacks during the U.S. presidential election.

“It is unacceptable that the intelligence community directors would not fulfill the House Intelligence Committee’s request to be briefed tomorrow on the cyberattacks that occurred during the presidential campaign,” Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., wrote in a statement. “The legislative branch is constitutionally vested with oversight responsibility of executive branch agencies, which are obligated to comply with our requests. The committee is vigorously looking into reports of cyberattacks during the election campaign, and in particular we want to clarify press reports that the CIA has a new assessment that it has not shared with us. The committee is deeply concerned that intransigence in sharing intelligence with Congress can enable the manipulation of intelligence for political purposes.”

Nunes vowed to continue the committee’s pursuit of information from intelligence leaders.

On Monday, Nunes asked National Intelligence Director James Clapper to address his committee in response to reports about Russia’s attempts to manipulate the U.S. election last month, according to a letter sent Monday.

Nunes said new media reports indicate officials in the FBI and CIA are sending “divergent messages” about Russia’s role in the WikiLeaks and cyberattack incidents.

“On November 17, 2016, you told the committee during an open hearing that the [intelligence community] lacked strong evidence connecting Russian government cyberattacks and WikiLeaks disclosures, testifying that ‘as far as the WikiLeaks connection, the evidence there is not as strong, and we don’t have good insight into the sequencing of the releases or when the data may have been provided,'” Nunes wrote in the letter. “According to new press reports, this is no longer the CIA’s position.”

Nunes had requested that Clapper brief the committee by Friday on the intelligence community’s assessment of the allegations and update the committee on the status of the Obama administration’s plans to investigate the incidents.

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This post originally appeared on Washington Examiner

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