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‘Serious’ national security threat has Washington all abuzz: But what is the threat?

Chris Graham
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Something “serious” is being discussed in stage whispers in Washington. Does it involve a nuclear threat from Russia? Maybe an alien invasion?

It’s disheartening to say, we don’t know.

“Look, Mike is right to highlight this issue. But it’s so sensitive that right now, not publicly discussing,” said Jim Himes, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, in a gaggle with reporters on Wednesday.

“I don’t want people thinking that, you know, Martians are landing, or that your Wednesday is going to be ruined. But it’s something that the Congress the administration does need to address in the medium to long run,” said Himes, D-Conn.

The uncertainty arose in relation to a cryptic statement posted to Twitter from the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Ohio Republican Mike Turner, from earlier in the day.

The statement from Turner said the committee has “made available to all members of Congress information concerning a serious national security threat,” and added that Turner has requested that President Biden “declassify all information relating to this threat so that Congress, the administration and our allies can openly discuss the actions necessary to respond to this threat.”

I fell into this rabbit hole after getting an odd email in my inbox literally a few minutes ago, from Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Mark Warner and the committee’s ranking Republican, Marco Rubio.

The subject line: “Warner & Rubio on Intelligence Matter.”

The joint statement from the two:

“The Senate Intelligence Committee has the intelligence in question, and has been rigorously tracking this issue from the start. We continue to take this matter seriously and are discussing an appropriate response with the administration. In the meantime, we must be cautious about potentially disclosing sources and methods that may be key to preserving a range of options for U.S. action.”

That’s it.

It’s an intelligence matter, the Senate Intelligence Committee has the intelligence, and it’s serious.

What we still don’t know: really, anything.

NBC News is reporting that its sources are saying Warner and Rubio were briefed weeks ago on the threat identified by Turner.

House Speaker Mike Johnson has also apparently been briefed.

“I saw Chairman Turner’s statement on the issue, and I want to assure the American people, there is no need for public alarm,” Johnson told reporters during a Wednesday press conference. “We are going to work together to address this matter, as we do all sensitive matters that are classified.”

Johnson went on to say, as you would expect, that he is “not at liberty to disclose classified information, and really can’t say much more,” though he did add that he will be meeting with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan at the Capitol on Thursday, and that the meeting was scheduled after he sent a letter to the White House last month asking to meet with the president “to discuss a serious national security issue that is classified.”

Sullivan, then, asked by reporters if there is need for public concern about whatever this threat is, said “in a way, that question is impossible to answer with a straight ‘yes,’ because Americans understand that there are a range of threats and challenges in the world that we’re dealing with every single day, and those threats and challenges range from terrorism to state actors, and we have to contend with them.”

More from Sullivan:

“I am confident that President Biden, in the decisions that he has taken, is going to ensure the security of the American people going forward, and I will stand here at this podium and assert that, look you in the eye with confidence that we believe that we can and will and are protecting the national security of the United States and the American people,” Sullivan said.

Yeah, that’s not really more.

Back to NBC News: sources are telling that news organization that “this is a serious issue that could lead to a destabilizing situation and a national security threat.”

Your guess is as good as mine.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].