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 KingBiden to meet House Dems before Europe trip: report Biden administration pushing to include IRS proposal in spending bill despite criticism Lawmakers split on next steps to secure transportation sectors against hackers MORE (I-Maine) on Monday blasted Director of National Intelligence John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeSunday shows preview: Senate votes to raise debt ceiling; Facebook whistleblower blasts company during testimony Biden, Trump battle over who's to blame for Afghanistan Sunday shows preview: US grapples with rising COVID-19 cases 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 BartiromoDeSantis eyes ,000 bonus for unvaccinated police to relocate to Florida Judge: Request for Tucker Carlson personnel files is 'intrusive' The Memo: Fall in white population could add fuel to nativist fire 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 PelosiBiden to meet House Dems before Europe trip: report On The Money — Will the billionaire tax survive Joe Manchin? Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by American Clean Power — Democrats prepare to grill oil execs MORE (D-Calif.) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffAll eyes on Garland after Bannon contempt vote House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Altria - Manchin heatedly dismisses rumors of leaving Democratic Party 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.