House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) said over the weekend that the report that was given to President Joe Biden about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic has classified intelligence in it that contradicts information that was released last week by the Intelligence Community.
Turner made the remarks during an interview a CBS News with Margaret Brennan on “Face The Nation” when asked about why the IC report seemed “so inconclusive.”
“We passed a law saying, declassify the information that you have about the COVID and Wuhan lab’s activities,” Turner said. “What they did is they basically went and — and did a paper on what they believe about the intelligence they’ve looked at. I will give an example of this. We’ve asked to open the curtain and release the intelligence, and they went behind the curtain, read this stuff, and came out and said, well, this is what we think about it.”
“This is not sufficient,” he continued. “And, certainly, this is going to be — set up between a battle between Congress and the director of national intelligence to make certain that — that the law that was passed unanimously, both the Senate and the House and signed by the president, is complied with, but also the American public get the answers they deserve.”
When asked about the “classified annex” in the report, Turner said that even that “goes against what the law says.”
“The law says declassify, not give us more classified information,” he said. “I mean, my committee has already seen a significant amount of this intelligence. Giving my committee more intelligence doesn’t give it to the American public, and that’s what the declassification law was about.”
When asked if there was “a definitive conclusion that the government’s not releasing,” Turner responded: “I have seen, for example, the classified annex to the report that President Biden requested the intelligence community gave.”
“In the report that was given to the President, the 90-day-or-so report, they have — they have information in that report that contradicts, I believe, the impressions that are given in — in these statements by the Intelligence Committee,” he added. “We want the intelligence released, not their opinion about the intelligence. If we wanted their opinion, we would have asked for it. We passed a law saying, declassify it. It’s the law of the land. Release this so the American public and see it.”