Top National Security Officials Meet with Congressional Leaders About “Serious” but “Not Immediate” Threat

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This afternoon, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met with leaders on Capitol Hill to discuss what House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R- OH) called a “serious national security threat” on Wednesday. Turner is calling on the administration to declassify the intel. 

Today, lawmakers and Biden Administration officials say although the threat is serious, it’s not immediate and that Americans should remain calm. 

“We’re going to work together to address this matter, as we do all sensitive matters that are classified,” said House Speaker Mike Johnson (R- LA)

The national security threat, first made aware to the public yesterday, has to do with Russia’s space capabilities, specifically a Russian anti-satellite system. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill said the classified information is significant, but not a cause for panic. 

Specific details about the system and the threat it could pose to U.S. satellites are limited at this time. However, White House officials confirmed today that the system is not active and has not been deployed. 

“This is still a capability they’re developing,” said White House National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby. “We are still analyzing the information that’s available.” 

The White House did not say today whether the Russian system would be considered a nuclear weapon or nuclear capable. Kirby said more details will be made available in a careful manner of their choosing. 

“We make decisions about how and when to publicly disclose intelligence in a careful, deliberate and strategic way, in a way that we choose,” said Kirby. “I can assure you that we will continue to keep members of Congress, as well as our international partners and all of you and the American people as fully informed as possible.” 

Kirby also said today that officials have been aware of Russia’s pursuit toward this type of capability for many months, if not years. 

“But only in recent weeks now has the intelligence community been able to assess with a higher sense of confidence exactly how Russia continues to pursue it,” said Kirby. 

Many House Republicans are upset with Chairman Turner and said his statement yesterday was “alarmist” and made in poor judgement. Some are even calling for a formal investigation into Turner to explore the impact his statements may have had on U.S. foreign and domestic policy. 

News of the new intelligence and potential threat comes just a few days after the Senate sent a $95 billion foreign aid package to the House, where it faces strong opposition. The package includes $60 billion dollars in aid for Ukraine.