Amid heightening tensions with Iran, top Democrats on the House national security committees are pressing the State Department over what they call “the abuse of classification and politicization of intelligence regarding Iran and other countries” included in the department’s latest arms control threat assessment.
In a letter Thursday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the chairmen of the House Intelligence, Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees asserted that the new report “provides significantly less unclassified information” than in the past, and may have been slanted by political appointees to “justify” potential military action.
The White House “selectively ignores facts or injects non-factual information, and … has failed to file a key report to Congress about Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal,” the letter charged.
This year’s report, they said, disproportionately focuses on Iran and excludes details about Russia and North Korea, both of which have raised red flags among U.S. officials about their nuclear programs.
The members called for a classified briefing by department officials and requested documents “sufficient to demonstrate the factual bases for assertions and explanations provided in this briefing.”
“It is not possible for Congress to be properly informed, or for the United States to have a sound foreign policy in a dangerous world,” the members wrote, “when an Administration submits a mandated report to Congress that selectively ignores facts or injects non-factual information about certain threats to our country.”
The writers included House Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith.
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