In an exclusive interview on “Sunday Morning Futures,” Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, addressed reports that Russia is allegedly trying to interfere with 2020 election, saying Democrats “leaked information that’s not accurate.”
Ratcliffe, who serves on the House Judiciary and House Intelligence Committees, made the comment in response to host Maria Bartiromo, who asked him what happened during a meeting he attended earlier this month when House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., brought up the issue of Russia meddling.
“You’re asking me about details of a classified briefing that was intended to remain secret, you’re asking me about it because it has been reported on by the New York Times,” the Texas congressman told Bartiromo. “It’s all too familiar.”
Ratcliffe had referenced a New York Times article, which reported, citing “five people familiar with the matter,” that intelligence officials warned House lawmakers earlier this month that Russia was interfering in the 2020 campaign to try to get President Trump reelected.
The article said that even though intelligence officials have reportedly told lawmakers before that Russia’s interference campaign was continuing, the briefing “included what appeared to be new information: that Russia intended to interfere with the 2020 Democratic primaries as well as the general election.”
Ratcliffe told Bartiromo on Sunday that anytime there’s a story “that is allegedly anti-Trump or negative for the president, it shows up in newspapers because either Democratic members or Democratic staffers leak it.”
“The problem is in this case, they’ve leaked information that’s not accurate,” he added.
He then went on to explain that “the narrative often from Democrats and the media is that Republicans don’t think the Russians have meddled in our election. They did.”
“They meddled in 2016, they are going to meddle in 2020,” he continued. “That’s not the issue. The issue is why Russia is being so successful in shaking American confidence in the integrity of our elections. And the reason is, it’s because Democrats keep perpetuating and accentuating and proliferating Russian propaganda for their political gain and for their political motivation against Donald Trump.”
Ratcliffe said, “It’s Democrats that created the Steele dossier and pedaled it to our law enforcement and intelligence communities.”
Former British spy Christopher Steele is the author of the anti-Trump dossier of salacious and unverified claims about the president’s ties to Russia.
The dossier’s more sensational claims were not substantiated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose report found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.
Steele’s now-infamous dossier and research surrounding the 2016 presidential election provided much of the information used in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application and renewals, but Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz found that the FBI did not have any specific information corroborating allegations against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page from Steele’s reporting.
In December, Horowitz released the highly anticipated findings from his nearly two-year review concerning the origins of the Russia investigation and the issuance of FISA warrants for Page. The report said investigators found no intentional misconduct or political bias surrounding either the launch of the Trump-Russia investigation or efforts to seek the controversial FISA warrant to monitor Page in the early stages of that probe. However, it was revealed there were at least 17 “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in the Page FISA applications.
On Sunday Ratcliffe said Democrats allegedly created the Steele dossier and gave it to law enforcement “so the Democrats could falsely accuse the president of conspiring with Russia for the better part of three years now, something that Bob Mueller said absolutely wasn’t the case.”
“It was the Democrats that put out a memo saying that everything had been done appropriately at the FISA court and that there wasn’t illegal surveillance,” he continued. “All of these things have been done by Democrats … for their political gain, but has promoted everything that Russia has tried to accomplish and the Democrats have been their biggest allies.”
Fox News’ Alex Pappas and Gregg Re contributed to this report.