- The Washington Times
Thursday, October 8, 2020

President Trump’s director of national intelligence was called into question by a former CIA analyst currently serving in Congress over concerns about his recent handling of classified information.

Rep. Elissa Slotkin, Michigan Democrat, released a letter Wednesday that she wrote to John Ratcliffe strongly criticizing the former Republican congressman from Texas and asking him to testify publicly.

Ms. Slotkin, who previously served in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence as well as the CIA before Congress, raised several concerns regarding Mr. Ratcliffe’s performance as DNI.

She pointed out Mr. Ratcliffe seems to be politicizing intelligence for Mr. Trump’s benefit, particularly with respect to intelligence regarding the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.

“I am concerned that your recent public statements on foreign interference in our elections are not supported by the facts, as briefed to Congress by career intelligence officers,” wrote Ms. Slotkin, a member of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security committees.

“Your actions appear intent at distracting from the primary threat to our democratic process posed by Russia, and instead amplifying claims about China’s influence efforts,” Ms. Slotkin added. “My primary concern is that you are seeking to bolster a future case by President Trump, if he loses, that Chinese interference caused his loss.”

Ms. Slotkin also took issue with Mr. Ratcliffe recently declassifying unverified Russian intelligence collected by the U.S. during the last White House race and released with redactions this week.

The newly declassified material relates to the U.S. having intelligence during the 2016 race suggesting Russians alleged that former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump’s rival, might have tried to create a scandal by connecting her opponent to Russia.

Mr. Trump referenced that uncorroborated intelligence during the first presidential debate last month, Ms. Slotkin told Mr. Ratcliffe, “in a further attack on the patriotic, hard-working women and men of the Intelligence Community which you lead.”

The congresswoman concluded her letter by asking Mr. Ratcliffe to commit to brief Congress about threats to the election and to testify publicly. She has requested her reply by Tuesday, Oct. 20.

An ODNI official told The Washington Times that it received the letter and will respond appropriately.

Mr. Ratcliffe, 54, has led the U.S. intelligence community since May. He previously served as mayor of Heath, Texas, prior to representing the state’s 4th Congressional District on Capitol Hill.

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