The top US intelligence office has announced that it will stop face-to-face briefings for lawmakers on election security and foreign interference, citing concerns over the leak of sensitive information.
In a statement on Saturday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) told the House and Senate Select Committees on Intelligence that in-person meetings on election security would now be replaced by written briefs, the BBC reported.
Concerns Over Leaks
ODNI officials are reportedly concerned over leaks that took place during previous briefings. Taking to Twitter, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said: "(President Donald)Trump doesn't want the American people to know about Russia's efforts to aid his re-election".
Responding to the development, Trump told reporters later in the day that Ratcliffe "got tired of" information leaking. "So, he wants to do it in a different form because you have leakers on the committee, obviously, leakers that are doing bad things, probably not even legal to leak, but we'll look into that separately," the BBC quoted the President as saying.
Foreign Influence In 2020 Elections Suspected
Condemning the move, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the Democratic head of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, said the public had the right to know how foreign powers were trying to subvert American democracy.
"This is a shocking abdication of its lawful responsibility to keep the Congress currently informed, and a betrayal of the public's right to know how foreign powers are trying to subvert our democracy," they said in a joint statement. Earlier this month, the ODNI said Russia, China and Iran were all trying to influence the outcome of the November 3 vote.