FACT CHECK: Democratic Senator Makes False Claim About Acting DNI Richard Grenell

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Posted: May 05, 2020 12:50 PM
FACT CHECK: Democratic Senator Makes False Claim About Acting DNI Richard Grenell

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool

During the confirmation hearing for Director of National Intelligence nominee John Ratcliffe Tuesday morning, Senate Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Mark Warner attacked Acting DNI Richard Grenell for firing bad, politically motivated actors inside the intelligence services.

"What we've seen over the last year has been especially dangerous," Warner claimed. "The systematic firing of anyone at the ODNI who has the temerity to speak truth to power."

"These firings and forced departures from the leadership from the intelligence community have left the ODNI without a single, Senate-confirmed leader at the helm. Instead, an Acting DNI with no experience in intelligence but with plenty of political loyalty to the president has been appointed to oversee America's intelligence enterprise. As Acting DNI, this individual promptly instituted a hiring freeze and a reorganization whose purpose has not been communicated to the intelligence oversight committees," he continued.

But Grenell has made efforts to communicate his work to Capitol Hill. In fact, Grenell reached out to Warner ahead of today's hearing and offered to brief him on the implementation of badly needed reforms. Warner refused the meeting and falsely attacked Grenell anyway.

IC Inspector General Michael Atkinson was fired in April after working with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff on impeachment.