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GOP Rep raises alarm over ‘serious national security threat’

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner (US Congress/Released)
February 14, 2024

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) called for President Joe Biden to declassify information regarding a “serious national security threat” in a statement released on Wednesday.

Turner released a statement Wednesday explaining that the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence was providing congressional members with information pertaining to a “serious national security threat.

Turner added, “I am requesting that President Biden declassify all information relating to this threat so that Congress, the Administration, and our allies can openly discuss the actions necessary to respond to this threat.”

Fox News reported that it had obtained the notice sent to members of Congress on Wednesday, noting that it mentioned “an urgent matter with regard to a destabilizing foreign military capability that should be known by all Congressional Policy Makers.”

According to NBC News, four anonymous sources familiar with the “urgent matter” claimed that the classified threat involves a Russian military capability. Additionally, Reuters cited two sources that said Turner’s statement was made in response to Russia’s space operations.

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Following the release of Turner’s statement, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) told reporters on Capitol Hill, “I saw Chairman Turner’s statement on the issue, and I want to assure the American people, there is no need for public alarm. We are going to work together to address this matter as we do all sensitive matters that are classified.”

Johnson emphasized that he wanted to assure the American people that “steady hands are at the wheel,” that Congress is taking steps to handle the threat, and that “there’s no need for alarm.”

During a White House press briefing on Wednesday, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters that he had already arranged a personal briefing with the Gang of Eight regarding the national security threat Turner warned about in his statement urging the president to declassify the information.

“I am a bit surprised that Congressman Turner came out publicly today in advance of a meeting on the books for me to go sit with him alongside our intelligence and defense professionals tomorrow. That’s his choice to do that,” Sullivan said. “All I can tell you is that I’m focused on going to see him, sit with him, as well as the other House members of the Gang of Eight tomorrow.”