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Is Biden’s CIA Director too close to China’s Communist Party?

President Joe Biden pauses as he delivers remarks on Protecting Access to Reproductive Health Services in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on July 8, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
September 13, 2022

President Joe Biden’s CIA Director William Burns previously led an elite Washington, D.C. think tank that had undisclosed Chinese Communist Party-linked employees, according to the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF) on Monday. The report prompted Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX) to demand Burns address his alleged “strong ties” to China. 

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DCNF revealed in August that the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace had at least 20 undisclosed members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) working for the organization under Burns’ leadership between February 2015 and November 2021. In a letter shared with DCNF, Gooden expressed concerns over Burns’ ability to lead the CIA after heading the CCP-influenced think tank.

“The vast influence the CCP had at Carnegie during your tenure as president and the continued influence they have today — despite claims you made at your confirmation hearing that you had ended the CCP’s influence — presents a significant lapse in judgment and brings into question your ability to identify and mitigate national security risks,” Gooden’s letter stated. 

Gooden called on Burns to address when he realized the CCP was targeting Carnegie, the number of CCP-linked employees that worked at Carnegie, and if he believes CCP members should be permitted to work on federal grants. 

This isn’t the first time Burns has come under fire for his connections to the Chinese Communist Party. During his CIA confirmation hearing in Feb. 2021, Burns told Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) that shortly after he became president of Carnegie, he ended the group’s relationship with the CCP-backed China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF). 

“This is a relationship that I inherited when I became president of Carnegie, and that I ended not long after I became president, precisely for the concerns that you just described, because we were increasingly worried about the expansion of Chinese influence operations,” Burns testified.

However, CUSEF continued to provide Carnegie with hundreds of thousands of dollars while Burns was president, DCNF discovered. 

“The evidence would suggest Director Burns lied under oath during his confirmation hearing or was grossly incompetent,” Gooden told the DCNF. “Lying to Congress is a serious offense, and this is another situation that must be investigated in a Republican Congress. If that investigation confirms he did lie to the Senate, then a referral to the Department of Justice would be appropriate.” 

“As China becomes more belligerent and ramps up its genocide and human rights abuses, there should be a serious conversation about blocking visa applications for any or all CCP members,” Gooden said.