Rep. Turner Receives Bipartisan Backlash For Russia Warning

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) sparked widespread concern this week with a statement warning of a vague “national security threat” revealed to members of the House Intelligence Committee.

As more details became available, however, it appeared that the intelligence report referenced anti-satellite weapons believed to have been in development by Russia but not yet operative. 

 

Turner’s decision to publicly reference the sensitive information drew criticism from both sides of the aisle, including from Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), who said: “I certainly would not have done it like that.”

Some of the most pointed backlash, however, came from fellow Republicans, some of whom speculated that he wanted to stoke fear about Russia in order to secure more U.S. funding for Ukraine. 

Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN) put his concerns in a letter to House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) that denounced the “reckless disregard” with which he believed Turner’s statement was released.

“As the Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence is solely appointed by the Speaker and under your direct purview, should the Chairman retain his post, you have a duty and an obligation to reassure this body (Congress) and the American people that the processes of the Intelligence Committee have not been corrupted by the very institutions they are charged with monitoring,” Ogles wrote.

He went on to assert that the public warning was made “to ensure additional funding for Ukraine and passage of an unreformed Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.”

For his part, Johnson addressed the situation on Thursday by confirming that Congress was first briefed on the matter “a few weeks” earlier.

“We requested a meeting with the president,” he added. “I did — we did, in writing in January.”

Some lawmakers defended Turner’s decision, though, including Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), who shared his belief that the Biden administration had not done enough in response to the potential Russian threat. 

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) expressed similarly vague concerns about the threat and credited Turner with doing the right thing by releasing his statement.

“He was absolutely right,” the Pennsylvania Republican said. “Absolutely right. And every single one of you, as American citizens, ought to be thankful that he made the decision that he did.”

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  • R
    February 18, 2024
    Rick

    Probably the biggest reason to worry about russia is the fact they have endorsed “cotton head joe”,. they have recognized his mental deficiency faster than the ‘Crats, and are banking on him bungling into their, hands for the plucking !

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