Russian election hack briefing demanded by Michigan congressman
Update - Briefing scheduled for Friday:WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A Michigan congressman is one of two asking President Barack Obama for an immediate briefing on claims that Russia interfered with November's presidential election.
U.S. Reps. Justin Amash, R-Cascade Township, and Walter Jones, a North Carolina Republican, sent a letter to The White House on Monday, Dec. 19.
In the letter, the congressmen question the veracity of reports from the intelligence community that Russian cyberattacks were part of an effort to influence the 2016 election, calling them "evidence-free assertions."
"The reports do not detail specific evidence to support these assertions, and some reports suggest there are disagreements among intelligence officials," the letter states.
The White House has suggested President Vladimir Putin was personally involved and President Barack Obama has promised to retaliate.
The letter from Amash and Jones claims congressional leaders previously requested a briefing on the issue, but were denied and told by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that a review requested by the White House must first be completed.
"Less than two days later, with no congressional briefing scheduled, you took to NPR to announce retaliatory action against Russia for 'impacting the integrity of our elections,'" the letter states.
Amash and Jones criticize the president's statement, saying Congress "must be briefed on any evidence the intelligence community has gathered" so members can weigh the evidence and evaluate any conclusions.
"It is incumbent upon the executive branch to keep Congress apprised of hostile foreign actions in a timely manner, and once an allegation has been made public, it is reckless to allow evidence-free assertions to serve as Congress' and the public's only source of information," the letter states.
With retaliation against Russia "apparently already under development," the two congressmen request a classified briefing be immediately made available to Congress.