Lindsey Graham wants to know if CIA paid off agents that thought COVID-19 came from a lab

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

Sep. 18—U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., wants to know if the CIA paid off agents who believed COVID-19 originated from a Wuhan lab.

Graham sent a letter to CIA Director William Burns on Sept. 12 asking him to provide documents related to the CIA team that investigated the origins of the COVID-19 virus.

According to the letter, a "multi-decade, senior level current" CIA official recently told two House committees about the CIA's investigation into the origins of the virus.

The House committees were the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The official said the CIA assigned a team of seven "multidisciplinary and experienced officers with significant scientific expertise" to investigate the origins of the virus.

The official said six of the seven team members were prepared to make a "low confidence assessment" the virus originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.

In intelligence assessments, a low confidence assessment is generally made when information's credibility or plausibility is questionable, the information isn't solid enough to make inferences or there are problems with sources.

The official added the seventh member, the most senior team member, believed the virus was transmitted from an animal to humans.

The official alleged the six members were given a "significant monetary incentive" to change their minds and allow the CIA to publicly say it was uncertain about the origins of the virus.

U.S. Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Rick Scott, R-Fla., joined Graham on the letter.