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Angus King: Ending election security briefings 'looks like a pre-cover-up'

Angus King: Ending election security briefings 'looks like a pre-cover-up'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Angus KingAngus KingCollins says running as Independent 'crossed my mind' Susan Collins and the American legacy Coordinated federal leadership is needed for recovery of US travel and tourism MORE (I-Maine) on Monday blasted Director of National Intelligence John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeHillicon Valley: Treasury sanctions Russian group accused of targeting critical facilities | Appeals court rules Uber, Lyft must comply with labor laws | Biden: Countries that target US elections will 'pay a price' Treasury sanctions Russian group accused of targeting US critical facilities with destructive malware Biden: Countries that interfere in US elections will 'pay a price' MORE’s announcement that his office will no longer deliver in-person election security briefings to Congress, saying it “looks like a pre-cover-up.”

“I can’t get into the head of these people, but we have a president who never likes to hear the word ‘Russia,’ at least not in the context of the relationships or of Russia meddling in our elections,” King told CNN.

“I hate to say this but it looks like a pre-cover-up. It looks like they don’t want to share the information, they’re covering up information,” he added. “I don’t know what they have or don’t have, but it looks like they’re trying to keep this information from the public so when everybody goes to vote on Nov. 3, they won’t know the extent to which they’ve been attempted to be influenced by the Russians or some other country.”

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Ratcliffe, who made the announcement Saturday, has defended the decision, telling Fox News’s Maria BartiromoMaria Sara BartiromoMeadows criticizes veteran journalist Lesley Stahl as an 'opinion journalist' Greenwald slams Schiff over Biden emails on Fox Hillicon Valley: DOJ accuses Russian hackers of targeting 2018 Olympics, French elections | Federal commission issues recommendations for securing critical tech against Chinese threats | House Democrats slam FCC over 'blatant attempt to help' Trump MORE it was necessary to prevent the leak of classified information.

“I reiterated to Congress, look, I'm going to keep you fully and currently informed, as required by the law,” Ratcliffe said Sunday. “But I also said, we're not going to do a repeat of what happened a month ago, when I did more than what was required, at the request of Congress, to brief not just the Oversight Committees, but every member of Congress.”

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump expressed doubt to donors GOP can hold Senate: report Senators battle over Supreme Court nominee in rare Saturday session Sunday shows preview: Trump, Biden gear up for final sprint to Election Day MORE (D-Calif.) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffGreenwald slams Schiff over Biden emails on Fox Hillicon Valley: DOJ accuses Russian hackers of targeting 2018 Olympics, French elections | Federal commission issues recommendations for securing critical tech against Chinese threats | House Democrats slam FCC over 'blatant attempt to help' Trump Federal commission issues recommendations for securing critical tech against Chinese threats MORE (D-Calif.) slammed the announcement in a joint statement Saturday.

“This intelligence belongs to the American people, not the agencies which are its custodian. And the American people have both the right and the need to know that another nation, Russia, is trying to help decide who their president should be,” they said.