U.S. Intelligence Chief Says China Is Biggest Threat Despite Leaks Focusing on Russia

Office of Congressman John Ratcliffe via Wikimedia Commons

On Sunday, U.S. Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe announced he would be scaling back in-person election security briefings to Congress in favor of written reports. He said he is doing this due to members selectively leaking classified information for partisan purposes.

Ratcliffe accused some members of leaking the intelligence specifically “To create a narrative that simply isn’t true, that somehow Russia is a greater national security threat than China.”

Fox News reported that Ratcliffe said he had been going above and beyond in briefing “not just the oversight committees but every member of Congress” but will no longer do so. The agenda-driven leaking is creating confusion and undermining the intelligence community’s assessments.

Former Acting DNI Richard Grenell applauded the decision, stating that there is a “crisis with leaks” and this move will help sort it out, reported Fox News.

Grenell added that “The public is being confused here because you’ve got Republicans saying that China is the problem. You’ve got Democrats saying that Russia is the problem. We need to listen to the intelligence community,” Grenell said on Fox News, adding:

The intelligence community says Russian propaganda is a problem. They say that China is a crisis. These are the facts that are faced before us.

Ratcliffe emphasized, “I don’t mean to minimize Russia. They are a serious national security threat, but day in, day out, the threats that we face from China are significantly greater,” Ratcliffe said, according to Fox, “Anyone who says otherwise is just politicizing intelligence for their own narrative.”

SEE ALSO: China ‘Decimated’ U.S. Intelligence Networks Prior to Covid-19

But the issue goes beyond identifying and reporting the real threats to the U.S. posed by China and Russia, it is also a matter of preserving the integrity and professionalism of the intelligence community and process.

Fox reported that Grenell argued that Ratfliffe’s move will help career intelligence officials do their jobs, noting that this partisan leaking is a bipartisan crisis. Republicans leaked information under President Barack Obama he noted. Grenell concluded by saying,

This is a problem of Washington, D.C., and politicians. This is not unique to any one party. We need to solve this by having people who come from the outside, who come into Washington with new fresh eyes and change bureaucracies.

Despite media and partisan pushback, this is a real problem, and fixing it is a big part of President Trump’s mission. This latest step by DNI Ratcliffe may help move that mission forward.

READ NEXT: Former Senior CIA Officer Urges Reform of U.S. Intelligence >>

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Paul Crespo

Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

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Tom
Tom
10 months ago

The selling of U.S. intelligence for MONEY goes back to Bill and Hillary who sold China satellite secrets for $170 million dollars. They were caught by the FBI but the crime was not made public because Clinton was still President. The money is still in a bank in the Caymans and can not be touched. This is why Hillary cried about being ‘broke’ when they left the White House. Crimes of this magnitude were continued by Obama, Biden, Hillary and Kerry. Put them all in prison. They tell people how much they care for them but would rob them blind and sell their children for more money for themselves.

pierre
10 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Agree.

Ray
Ray
10 months ago

Pretty sad when America’s worst enemy is its own government!

jsg
jsg
10 months ago
Reply to  Ray

They are traitors within the government

Hal Howell
Hal Howell
10 months ago

It seems that everyone has forgotten that Bill Clinton cleared the way for China to gain missile guidance technology. No wonder China likes and supports Democrats! No telling what Obama/Biden have given them…
The point is clear, we’re facing a real threat by China, Russia and Iran.

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