(CNSNews.com) - Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe says China is way ahead of other "foreign actors" when it come to "targeting members of Congress to influence them" by using blackmail and bribery.
"I look at threat streams," Ratcliffe told "Sunday Morning Futures" with Maria Bartiromo:
And one of the things I look at is what they call Gates information, or Gates Procedures. And it's intelligence that we have where foreign actors and states are targeting members of Congress to influence them, through blackmail on derogatory information or through bribery, for overt and covert influence.
And, as I looked at it, it was so overwhelming related to China that I had a look at the numbers. And what we have learned is that China engages in that activity at a level six times greater than Russia, 12 times greater than Iran. It's a massive influence campaign.
And, really, what it's intended to do, Maria, is to influence members of Congress to make sure that they're passing laws that are favorable for China and not passing laws that are anti-China. And they have been successful.
So, I briefed members of Congress on this. It was so disturbing that I made a special trip to Capitol Hill to make sure that they're aware of that information. And now I'm making the American people aware of that information.
Bartiromo mentioned several current and former members of Congress (Sen. Dianne Feinstein, former Sen. Joe Lieberman, and former Rep. Ed Royce) who have either praised China or lobbied for Chinese companies: "Do these folks not understand that China is trying to replace the United States as the number one superpower, sir?" she asked.
"Well, I think what we see is why China does so well under U.S. laws is because U.S. laws have been influenced by the actions that they have taken. And the American people need to be aware of that and hold their elected leaders accountable with regard to legislation that would impact China."
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed last week, Ratcliffe wrote that "the People’s Republic of China poses the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom world-wide since World War II.”
"The intelligence is clear,” Ratcliffe wrote: “Beijing intends to dominate the U.S. and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically."
In that op-ed, Ratcliffe said that to address the threat from China, "I have shifted resources inside the $85 billion annual intelligence budget to increase the focus on China. This shift must continue to ensure U.S. intelligence has the resources it needs to give policy makers unvarnished insights into China's intentions and activities."
In one of his recent syndicated columns, conservative pundit Patrick J. Buchanan wrote, "[I]f Joe Biden wins the presidency, a prediction: By the Ides of March 2021, there will be an independent counsel or special prosecutor named to investigate the Biden family fortunes and how they were amassed."
Buchanan noted that while Biden was serving as President Obama's anti-corruption point-man on Ukraine, Biden’s son Hunter, "with zero experience in the oil and gas industry, was suddenly offered a seat on the board of Burisma Holdings, a corrupt gas company in Ukraine, at $83,000 a month."
Hunter also is alleged to have raked in millions of dollars from a Chinese company.
"[I]f Joe Biden is elected, the incentive to cover for him and for Hunter vanishes," Buchanan said. "The old journalistic enthusiasm for the hunt to bring down another president will reappear, and more information will come spilling out.
"And as the claims and counterclaims, and allegations and counterallegations collide, pressure will build for Biden's Department of Justice to bring in an independent counsel to investigate and separate what is true from what is false and what is unethical from what is criminal."