Rep. Mike Turner: The White House seemed to be 'sleepwalking' on Russian national security threat

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Rep. Mike Turner told NBC News' “Meet the Press” on Saturday that he sounded the alarm to his House colleagues about Russia’s plan to put nuclear weapons in space out of fear that the Biden administration was “sleepwalking into an international crisis.”

“We need to make certain that we avert what could be an international crisis,” he added.

His remarks came on the heels of a statement he put out on Wednesday informing the public that the House Intelligence Committee has “made available to all members of Congress information concerning a serious national security threat.”

Later, NBC News confirmed that the intelligence was related to Russia developing a space-based nuclear program to attack satellites.

“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 administration is kind of hiding perhaps, you know, some inaction,” Turner said on Saturday.

His statement and the subsequent revelation about the nature of the classified intelligence made waves around Washington on Wednesday as some members of Congress sought to tamp down concerns about any imminent threats from Russia.

“People should not panic,” Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, said on Wednesday.

But Turner on Saturday underscored his belief that Russia poses a “very serious threat.”

“Everyone who’s looked at it uses the same language that I have — that it is a very serious threat,” Turner told “Meet the Press” on Saturday, adding that the administration is now “beginning to take action.”

“We met with [national security adviser] Jake Sullivan, and he began to lay out a plan that hopefully would begin to address this,” Turner added, appearing on “Meet the Press” virtually from Germany, where he is attending the Munich Security Conference.

Sullivan spoke publicly about the issue on Wednesday, saying at a White House briefing that he’d already reached out to brief a bipartisan Gang of Eight, comprising the top leaders from the House and Senate, to “offer myself up for a personal briefing.”

“That’s been on the books, so I am a bit surprised that Congressman Turner came out publicly today, in advance of a meeting on the books,” Sullivan said Wednesday.

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