BY: JACK ARHNOLZ, ABC NEWS
(WASHINGTON) — It is a “complete outrage” that the intelligence community will cease in-person election security briefings to Congress, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“I think the House is going to have to subpoena the director of intelligence in order to get information, which is crazy,” Klobuchar told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl.
The intelligence community announced Saturday that it would cease in-person election security briefings to Congress, citing concern over “unauthorized disclosures of sensitive information.”
“I have seen and others have seen (confidential) information leaked time and time again,” acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said earlier on “This Week,” Sunday. “(The director of national intelligence) is going to provide that information and those briefings to Congress in a written, finished intelligence product and continue to provide them the information that they need to do their jobs.”
The intelligence community’s announcement Saturday was met with swift and stern backlash from congressional Democrats.
“We are just a few months out of a major election, and I have already experienced this White House blocking my bipartisan election security bill, which would have helped us years ago to beef up our efforts. So, in the words of Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi, when it comes to this White House, all roads lead to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin. That is exactly what’s going on here,” Klobuchar told Karl.
Earlier this month, the U.S. intelligence community released a public statement that Russia, China and Iran are actively meddling in presidential politics ahead of November — with efforts by Russia to advance President Donald Trump’s reelection.
With Election Day now almost two months away, the president returned to the campaign trail Friday.
Speaking to a crowd in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he called some of the protesters outside the White House during his acceptance speech Thursday night “thugs.” He also made reference to the protesters shouting at Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who claimed he was “attacked by an angry mob” while leaving the White House that night with his wife.
“These incredible people from all over the country, all over the world that were there last night, they walked out to a bunch of thugs. And that wasn’t — remember this — that wasn’t friendly protesters,” Trump told his supporters.
At the Republican National Convention this week, Trump attempted to tie the violence in American cities to the Democrats.
“There is violence and danger in the streets of many Democrat-run cities throughout America. This problem could easily be fixed if they wanted to,” the president said during his keynote speech Thursday.
Klobuchar on Sunday broadly criticized violence occurring in the wake of the police shooting Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man.
“I have long condemned looting violence threats. That’s not peaceful protest, and I don’t care who is engaging in it, you condemn it. And of course Joe Biden has clearly condemned it, but let’s step back. This isn’t just happening in one place, it’s happening all over the country, it is happening under Donald Trump’s watch,” the Minnesota senator said.
“We are not safe in Donald Trump’s America,” she continued, citing an increase in hate crimes and the staggering coronavirus deaths.
When Karl pressed Klobuchar of what a potential Biden administration would do to confront violence, the Minnesota senator said, “(We need) to make very clear that we condemn violence. We condemn looting. And that has happened repeatedly.”
Ultimately, the Minnesota senator said Trump’s strategy to connect Biden to recent instances of violence only served to “wreak havoc.”
“I think that Americans, especially in the Midwest … favor a government that’s going to work for them, they’re going to want to see Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. They don’t want four more years of this chaos,” Klobuchar said.
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