Well, whatever it is, it’s wrong,” House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) replied when asked to explain her understanding of Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Director John Ratcliffe’s new Congressional briefing policy regarding election-related intelligence – which she and her colleagues are denouncing.
Dir. Ratcliffe has cancelled in-person briefings to all members of Congress due to leaks of classified, election-related intelligence he says has been leaked “within minutes” of the briefings “for political purposes” and to create a false narrative. Under the new policy, written briefings will be provided to Congress.
Pelosi, who co-signed a letter to Ratcliffe condemning his new policy, was asked Monday by MSNBC Host Chris Hayes to explain her understanding of the new policy.
Instead of directly answering, Pelosi simply issued a blanket denouncement of the policy – “Whatever it is”:
Chris Hayes: ”Just a sort of technical question, but I have been a little unclear from the reporting. Is this, no one in Congress gets in-person briefings? Or the committees don't and the so-called Gang of Eight, the leadership still does? What is your understanding of what they're saying the policy is now?”
Speaker Pelosi: “Well, whatever it is, it's wrong. I mean, that is to say, they have a responsibility to brief the committees and also the full Congress and they set up those opportunities to happen. And we accepted them. We set the dates.
“So, this was all on a path until they must have gotten orders from headquarters that they should not brief the Congress.”
“We don’t know of any leaks,” Pelosi claimed before her long-standing claim that Pres. Trump is colluding with Russia because of “what Russia has on this president”:
“They're using the excuse of leaks. But, we don't know of any leaks, and we don't want any leaks and we would condemn any leaks. But that is not a reason, it is an excuse on the part of the president. As we all know and you said so clearly, he doesn't even want to hear the word ‘Russia.’
“We don’t know politically, personally, financially what Russia has on this president, but it must be something.
“But for people in his party to go along with this, that can sometimes be shocking. Nothing he does is shocking, but you would think with their history in the Congress, their knowledge of the intelligence process and how valuable that is, that they would corrupt it for Donald Trump is – that is shocking.”
In an interview Sunday, Ratcliffe explained that leaks have prompted him to adopt the new written-briefing policy, Fox News reports:
Ratcliffe told "Sunday Morning Futures" he had been going above and beyond in briefing "not just the oversight committees but every member of Congress" but will no longer do so.
"Within minutes of one of those briefings ending, a number of members of Congress went to a number of different outlets and leaked classified information for political purposes," Ratcliffe told host Maria Bartiromo. "To create a narrative that simply isn't true, that somehow Russia is a greater national security threat than China."