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CNN: US Congress briefed on 'serious national security threat' allegedly linked to Russia

by Martin Fornusek February 14, 2024 10:05 PM 2 min read
Mike Turner, the chair of the U.S. House of Representatives intelligence committee, during a press conference of members of the U.S. Congress Delegation on Feb. 9, 2024, in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Vitalii Nosach/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Mike Turner, the chair of the U.S. House of Representatives intelligence committee, provided information to all Congress members on a "serious national security threat," CNN reported on Feb. 14.

Although Turner did not reveal the nature of the danger, two unnamed sources and a U.S. official told CNN that the threat is connected to Russia. In a letter sent to Congress members earlier on Feb. 14, Turner said it regards a "destabilizing foreign military capability."

One of the sources told the news outlet that "it is, in fact, a highly concerning and destabilizing" Russian capability "that we were recently made aware of."

House Speaker Mike Johnson sought to alleviate the worries, saying that "steady hands are at the wheel" and "there's no need for alarm."

Jim Himes, the top Democrat on the intelligence committee, also said the information is not "a cause for panic."

The announcement came just as Russia ramps up its pressure against Ukraine, while the U.S. support has all but run out due to disputes in Congress. The Senate recently passed the bill needed to restore funding for Ukraine, but Johnson said he opposes the bill and threatened not to put it for a vote in the House.

Johnson and other Republicans are under increasing pressure from former President Donald Trump, the party's most likely nominee for the 2024 presidential election, who opposes the foreign aid bill. Trump also recently raised concerns among NATO allies when he suggested he would encourage Russia to attack those members who do not meet the 2% GDP defense spending mark.

Turner provided lawmakers with certain information for a review between Feb. 14 and Feb. 16. He also appealed to the White House to declassify "all information relating to this threat."

In turn, President Joe Biden's administration voiced frustration with Turner's decision to go public with the warnings before a planned meeting between security officials and leading lawmakers on Feb. 15.

Media: Speaker Johnson wants private meeting with Biden before moving forward on Ukraine aid
Democratic sources told NBC that U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson has backed himself into a corner after a series of inconsistent positions on aid for Ukraine and legislative changes to domestic border issues.
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