Intel heads to resume worldwide threats hearing scrapped under Trump

Intel heads to resume worldwide threats hearing scrapped under Trump
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The House and Senate Intelligence committees will question leaders of five major intelligence and security agencies next week, resuming the annual tradition of a worldwide threats hearing that was abandoned under the Trump administration.

Director of National Intelligence Avril HainesAvril HainesBiden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections Democrats call for DOJ, FBI to declassify 9/11 intelligence related to Saudi Arabia The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - GOP torpedoes election bill; infrastructure talks hit snag MORE, CIA Director William BurnsWilliam BurnsHavana Syndrome: Is it safe to serve? CIA watchdog to review handling of 'Havana syndrome' cases The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi considers adding GOP voices to Jan. 6 panel MORE, FBI Director Christopher Wray, National Security Agency Director Gen. Paul Nakasone and Defense Intelligence Agency Director Gen. Scott Berrier will all appear in the Senate next Wednesday and in the House next Thursday.

Federal law requires the intelligence community to submit an annual worldwide threats assessment, but agencies failed to do so during Trump’s final two years in office. The last worldwide threats hearings were in January 2019.

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“Over the last four years, the Trump Administration discarded the tradition of open hearings on World Wide Threats, when it displeased the former president to have his preferred views of rival nations contradicted by agency heads,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOfficers offer harrowing accounts at first Jan. 6 committee hearing Live coverage: House panel holds first hearing on Jan. 6 probe Five things to watch as Jan. 6 panel begins its work MORE (D-Calif.) said in a statement.

The hearing will be the first congressional appearance for many of the witnesses since they were confirmed earlier this year. 

It comes as the U.S. is facing a diverse set of threats, ranging from geopolitical tensions, a massive cyberattack on the U.S. government, a pandemic and an increase in domestic extremism.

During the last worldwide threats hearings under Trump, Wray and former Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsBiden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections Former Trump officials including Fiona Hill helped prepare Biden for Putin summit: report Will the real Lee Hamiltons and Olympia Snowes please stand up? MORE testified on issues including rising threats from Russia and China, noting these nations might attempt to interfere in U.S. elections.

Coats also contradicted Trump on nuclear threats posed by Iran and North Korea, pushing back on Trump’s assessment that North Korea might get rid of its nuclear weapons stockpiles. 

Though not mandated by law, the House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on worldwide threats to the homeland last year, at which Wray and former National Counterterrorism Center Director Christopher Miller testified. 

Former acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfCongress needs to reform the Vacancies Act to keep the business of government on stable footing Trump, on trip with GOP, slams 'sick' state of US-Mexico border Texas Democrats representing border districts slam Trump visit MORE was also slated to appear but defied a subpoena to testify, garnering intense criticism from Democratic committee leaders in the process.