Conservative Republicans accuse Turner, who warned of a “Russia” threat, of gaslighting Americans

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Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN) on Thursday called for an investigation into Turner in a letter to House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), first reported by Punchbowl, blasting him for “reckless disregard of the implications and consequences said information would have on geopolitics, domestic and foreign markets, or the well-being and psyche of the American people.”

He wrote:

In hindsight, it has become clear that the intent was not to ensure the safety of our homeland and the American people, but rather to ensure additional funding for Ukraine and passage of an unreformed Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

This act constituted poor judgement at a minimum and a complete breach of trust influenced by the pursuit of a political agenda at a maximum,” he wrote.

On Wednesday afternoon, Turner — a supporter of aid to Ukraine — prompted public concern after he issued a vague statement about “a serious national security threat,” and requested that President Joe 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.”

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Just hours later, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan made an appearance at a White House press briefing to urge the House to pass $61 billion in aid to Ukraine.

Sullivan also revealed that he was the one who contacted Turner and other members of the Gang of Eight earlier in the week about the alleged threat that Turner later went public with, but claimed he was surprised that Turner did so.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), a staunch opponent of sending more U.S. taxpayer aid to Ukraine on top of the $113 billion already spent, called Turner “incredibly irresponsible.”

“The game you’re watching is not the game that is actually being played. I think it was incredibly irresponsible for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner to go out and gaslight the country alleging this national security threat,” he said on his show Firebrand.

And so, then it really begs the question, why? Why were you gaslit? Why was there this big, overarching claim of the imminency of some harm to the American people? You see in the House of Representatives, we are working to block a nearly $100 billion dollar deficit spend. And we’re concerned that that deficit spending isn’t going to make the world safer — giving money to Ukraine, any other kind of provocations around it — it could actually make the world considerably less safe.

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And so…conservatives stuck together, killed this bad bill. And then right on the heels of that you have Mike Turner out there saying oh, this big national security threat. And you watch, they’ll try to use the veneer of this threat to try to justify spying on you, spending your money driving up prices and being inflationary.

This is pretty amazing. I don’t think I can recall any members of congress coming straight out and saying any other member was deliberately trying to screw with people’s heads to manipulate them to get some bill passed. Well done.

h/t thinking…

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