Turner says he was ‘concerned’ that White House was ‘sleepwalking’ on Russian anti-satellite capability

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

House Intelligence Chair Mike Turner (R-Ohio) said he warned his colleagues about a “serious national security threat” last week because he was concerned the White House was “sleepwalking” on the threat pertaining to Russian anti-satellite capabilities.

When NBC’s Kristen Welker asked Turner in a “Meet the Press” interview airing Sunday to respond to criticism that Turner was causing a panic with his call to declassify information about the threat and allegations that he was using the threat as a way to secure more funding for Ukraine, Turner maintained that he was concerned about the national security threat.

“Well, Ukraine funding certainly is important. And FISA certainly is important. But this is about Russia and the administration taking action,” he said. “Again, I think that if you read the New York Times article today, you can see that the administration is beginning to put in place an action plan. And that’s what is important.”

“We need to make certain that we avert what could be an international crisis. I was concerned that it appeared that the administration was sleepwalking into an international crisis. But it looks like now they’re going to be able to take action,” he added.

Welker also asked Turner about recent reporting from The New York Times that states that the threat could related to Russia wanting to put a nuclear weapon into space. Turner emphasized that the threat is “very serious” in his response.

When pressed on whether he believes it is related to a nuclear threat, Turner said he could not confirm it.

“Well, I can’t – I can’t confirm or deny this. What I have called for is for the administration to declassify this. And my concern is that this is kind of like the Chinese spy balloon, and the – the administration is kind of hiding perhaps some inaction,” he said.

“But as this becomes more and more public and the administration grapples with – with what we’re dealing with, I think they are going to be taking it seriously. I think they will be taking action. And that, obviously, is the goal,” he added.

Turner sparked backlash last week after issuing a cryptic call asking President Biden to declassify information about a “serious national security threat.” White House national security communications adviser John Kirby later confirmed that the threat was related to a Russian anti-satellite capability, adding that there is no risk to anyone’s safety.

“And though Russia’s pursuit of this particular capability is troubling, there is no immediate threat to anyone’s safety. We are not talking about a weapon that can be used to attack human beings or cause physical destruction here on Earth,” Kirby told reporters last week.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.