Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe has canceled in person election intelligence briefings, and Democrats are outraged. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff made it sound as though he and his colleagues are going to be left in the dark, and that he may subpoena public officials to testify in a public hearing before the November general election.
Democrats can balk, but as Ratcliffe and the White House explained, it's all about plugging up those leaks. When Ratcliffe was sworn in, he made an oath to protect the unauthorized disclosure of classified information. And according to the director he's simply making good on that promise.
"We've had a pandemic of information being leaked out of the intelligence community," Ratcliffe explained.
Last month, when Ratcliffe was still holding in person intel briefings, he told the members of Congress that he had only one condition, which they promptly ignored.
"My only condition is that you treat this information with the respect that it deserves and you keep it private," Ratcliffe said on this weekend's "Sunday Morning Futures" on Fox Business. "And yet within minutes of one of those briefings ended, a number of those members of Congress went to a number of different publications and leaked classified information."
Their end goal, Ratcliffe explained, was to try and paint Russia as a greater national security threat than China. So, at the risk of more leaks and more misleading narratives, Ratcliffe is going to keep the members of Congress fully informed, but it will be on paper this time.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) defended Ratcliffe's decision and accused Democrats of "perpetuating just another hoax." He said that the model Director Ratcliffe is proposing is one that they’ve been using for more than 40 years since the creation of the Intelligence Committee.