Legal and national security experts expressed concern and anger Monday afternoon as word spread the White House would be briefing Congress on bombshell reports Russia has been paying the Taliban to kill American soldiers – and that Democrats would be banned from that briefing.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said the White House never briefed the Gang of Eight, which could be a violation of the law.
Meanwhile, Politico’s congressional reporter Kyle Cheney said Trump’s decision to a GOP-only meeting was “briefing political allies first,” but others were less generous in their assessments.
Presumably the briefing will be conducted by the Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe.
CNN National Security Analyst Sam Vinograd, a former Senior Advisor to the White House’s National Security Advisor under President Barack Obama called it “politicizing intelligence.”
Talk about politicizing intelligence. https://t.co/JrqfOVFvuW
— Sam Vinograd (@sam_vinograd) June 29, 2020
Law and national security expert Joshua Geltzer shared the same thought:
So much for “not politicizing intelligence,” I guess https://t.co/1KPQjWTvRK
— Joshua A. Geltzer (@jgeltzer) June 29, 2020
Former CIA analyst and former National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price:
Congressional Rs and Ds have the same clearances.
Congressional Rs and Ds have the same oversight function.
Congressional Rs and Ds have the same commitment to our servicemembers and national security.
But the administration trusts only Rs to put a positive spin on this story. https://t.co/Lvg040mMbw
— Ned Price (@nedprice) June 29, 2020
They’re not even trying anymore. https://t.co/n4Jmxmd2G7
— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) June 29, 2020
Defense News’s Deputy editor and Pentagon Correspondent:
In other words, it’s to get everyone’s talking points in order. https://t.co/rfPBTdO2eV
— Aaron Mehta (@AaronMehta) June 29, 2020
Defense One executive editor Kevin Baron suggested the briefing was partisan politics, not oversight:
Wow. So not congressional oversight, at all… https://t.co/jvBoIwchKv
— Kevin Baron (@DefenseBaron) June 29, 2020
U.S. Rep. Brian Schatz (D-HI) called it “disgusting.”
This is disgusting and shows that they see this as a political problem to be managed, not the moral and national security crisis that it presents. https://t.co/pue0NylIX0
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) June 29, 2020