California Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said he was disturbed by a report in The New York Times that said military and intelligence officials avoid giving President Trump detailed briefings on measures to counter Russia in cyberspace because they fear he may discuss them with foreign leaders.
“What I found most disturbing about that New York Times story about whether we’re preparing the battlefield, in terms of the electrical grid in Russia, was the fact that the security officials with the administration felt they couldn’t tell this to the president because he might compromise that information in a conversation with the Russians,” Schiff told “Face the Nation” Sunday.
“Or he might countermand their orders, their military decisions, because of the president’s obsequious attitude towards Russia,” he added.
Schiff, one the president’s most vocal detractors in Congress, was asked about the report published Saturday that described a previously undisclosed clandestine U.S. operation to infiltrate Russia’s electrical power grid through cyber intrusions to counter Moscow’s campaign of misinformation and hacking during American elections.
The report indicated Mr. Trump has not been “briefed in detail” about the sophisticated operation, in part because military and intelligence officials have concerns he might compromise information surrounding it.
“Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction — and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister,” The New York Times said.
Asked whether Congress had been briefed about the offensive digital campaign by U.S. military and intelligence, Schiff said he could not confirm whether it existed or not. “But we certainly press the intelligence community and our military to be briefed,” he added.
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