Wednesday, during an interview with MSNBC’s “Deadline,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reacted to a Politico report claiming intelligence about Russia was being withheld from the White House given “bad news” on the topic would displease President Donald Trump.
Pelosi claimed to be “unaware” of the report but argued Trump had ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, which she claimed showed Trump was “bereft” of any sense of patriotism.
“I’m unaware of what you said today about Director Haspel. I hope that — Haspel — I hope that that is not true, because that would be a major distortion of intelligence, intelligence. As I have said, again and again, the intelligence is our first defense in terms of protecting the American people. It is — when I first went into the intelligence world — it was like 25 years ago — it was about force protection, how we protect our troops if they are going to go into battle or if they are, how we have force protection. It’s not about politics. It’s about patriotism. It’s about our country. But to infiltrate this — the intelligence community for a political reason is a grave injustice. And that is exactly what this president is doing.”
“He — they claim, well, he heard, didn’t hear, he doesn’t read, he does read. Doesn’t matter. There’s an obligation on the part of the intelligence community to brief the president of the United States on a daily basis, and the rest of us, too. And, as I have said, they don’t own this intelligence. They are the custodians of it. They must debrief the rest of as well, so that we can make judgments for the American people. And for them to have a distortion, knowingly, wittingly, by the political side of things is really — will harm our national security. I joined Director Brennan in saying what he said about our men and women working in the intelligence field. They deserve our gratitude. They risk their lives. Their families make sacrifices.”
“And when their work is politicized — and I have been a victim of it in my time some years ago by the politicization of it — it’s just simply wrong. It’s a tragedy for our country. And I hope that what you said about Gina isn’t true, because I have more respect for her than to think that there would be a political filter before anything is said to the president, even though he goes into a tizzy when anybody talks about Russia. We know that, because, as I say again and again, with him, all roads lead to Putin. We don’t know what Putin has on him, politically, personally, financially, whatever it is, but for the president to say now, I like Putin and he likes me, just shows you how bereft he is of any sense of patriotism or the protection our intelligence community and the sacredness of our elections means to our democracy.”
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