CNN: Lawmakers Think Hyped 'National Security Threat' is 'Attempt to Shore up Support' for Foreign Aid Bill

Chris Menahan
Feb. 15, 2024

"Lawmakers and US officials" suspect the "serious national security threat" hyped by House Intel Chairman Mike Turner on Wednesday is an "attempt to shore up support" for the Israel-Ukraine foreign aid bill, CNN reports.

From CNN, "US has new intelligence on Russian nuclear capabilities in space":
The uproar over the new intelligence comes as a $60 billion aid package to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia has stalled in the House and former President Donald Trump has been publicly supporting GOP members who have opposed the package. Trump has also in recent days said that he would encourage Russia to "do whatever the hell they want" to NATO allies that do not meet alliance-set spending goals on their own defense.

Johnson has said that he will not bring the Senate-passed aid measure to the floor.

But Turner has publicly supported continuing to fund the Ukraine war effort. Some lawmakers and US officials privately speculated that his effort to brief lawmakers on the intelligence -- something the House Intelligence Committee voted on Tuesday night to do -- might be an attempt to shore up flagging support for Ukraine.
ABC News is reporting the "threat" is about Russia wanting nuclear weapons in space.

From ABC News, "GOP warning of 'national security threat' is about Russia wanting nuclear weapon in space: Sources":
The White House's national security adviser and leading lawmakers on Capitol Hill sought to allay public concerns on Wednesday after the House Intelligence Committee chairman warned of a "national security threat" related to a "destabilizing foreign military capability" so serious that President Joe Biden should declassify "all information" about it.

Two sources familiar with deliberations on Capitol Hill said the intelligence has to do with Russia wanting to put a nuclear weapon into space.

This would not be to drop a nuclear weapon onto Earth but rather to possibly use against satellites.

Still, "it is very concerning and very sensitive," said one source, calling it "a big deal."
Having nukes in space is banned under the Outer Space Treaty but people have been speculating for decades that it's not being followed.

PBS reported on Wednesday that the alleged anti-satellite weapon is only "nuclear powered."

From PBS, "National security warning reportedly involves Russian space weapon":
Two officials confirmed to me that Russia recently showcased a new capability in space, Geoff. That is what this threat is all about.

Russia regularly launches space -- has space launches. You see one right there. And the officials describe that Russia recently launched a new anti-satellite capability, meaning a satellite that can attack other satellites. The officials tell me that this satellite, which is possibly nuclear-powered, has an electronic warfare capability to target American satellites that are essential for U.S. military and civilian communication.

Now, that public statement that you just referred to right there was from Mike Turner, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. You see him right there. He is a voice for stronger national security, especially for Ukraine, which itself right now is facing serious threats from Russian electronic warfare.
Russia is denying the story and saying it's just a scam to secure foreign aid funding.

From Reuters, "Kremlin dismisses U.S. warning about Russian nuclear capability in space":
The Kremlin dismissed on Thursday a warning by the United States about Moscow's new nuclear capabilities in space, calling it a "malicious fabrication" and a trick by the White House aimed at getting U.S. lawmakers to approve more money to counter Russia.

[...] Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he would not comment on the substance of the reports until the details were unveiled by the White House. But he said Washington's warning was clearly an attempt to get Congress to approve more money.

"It is obvious that the White House is trying, by hook or by crook, to encourage Congress to vote on a bill to allocate money, this is obvious," he told reporters.

"We'll see what tricks the White House will use."

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, Moscow's point man on arms control, accused the United States of "malicious fabrication", TASS reported.
Mike Turner's top funder is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and he traveled to Ukraine just last week to meet with Volodymyr Zelensky.

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