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Former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell said Wednesday in reference to the Chinese spy scandal engulfing Rep. Eric Swalwell that the California Democrat is just “the tip of the iceberg” and that other top leaders around the country including “mayors and governors” were also compromised.
In an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Wednesday, Grenell, who is currently President Donald Trump’s Special Presidential Envoy for Serbia and Kosovo Peace Negotiations, responded to the host’s claim that Swalwell was a “hypocrite” for hyping the debunked Russian collusion narrative while downplaying the threat from China U.S. intelligence officials say is far bigger.
“Look, I think it’s even worse than just hypocrisy,” Grenell began. “We’re accustomed to hypocrisy in Washington, D.C. But … Russia is a problem but China is a crisis.
“We’ve known it’s been a crisis for a very long time,” he continued. “I think that there needs to be a ‘Gang of Eight,’ this intelligence group investigation. Certainly, acting Chairman [of the Senate Intelligence Committee] Marco Rubio [R-Fla.] and [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] Chairman [Adam] Schiff [D-Calif.] should immediately call the intelligence committees together.
(Credit: Fox News)
“They should get a confidential classified briefing on what Eric Swalwell knew and how much did he give away because the reality is, he spent years downplaying the China threat and over-hyping the Russian threat. This is playing into exactly what the Chinese want people to do,” Grenell continued.
A bombshell report by Axios following a year-long investigation found that Swalwell and other elected officials from around the country were involved, either sexually or politically, for years with a Chinese spy identified as Fang Fang, or by her chosen U.S. identity, Christine Fang.
The report claimed that Fang used a combination of Democratic networking, campaign fundraising, charisma, and romance to infiltrate and manipulate politicians believed to be up-and-comers in the party. And though it was short-lived, it should be noted that Swalwell ran for president last year.
“Eric Swalwell did exactly what the Chinese wanted. We need to figure out are there others, and I can tell you without giving away too much intelligence, this is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the leverage that China is putting on our politicians,” Grenell said.
“There’s many, many more,” he added.
Hannity asked if Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his family could be among those, but Grenell demurred.
“There’s a variety of mayors, governors, senior people,” Grenell said as he began to explain before Hannity cut him off and asked him to elaborate on what he had just said.
“There’s a whole bunch, Sean, and more should be coming out. They’ve all received defensive briefings and there’s a lot more to it. This is the tip of the iceberg,” Grenell noted further.
“I wanna know what [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi [D-Calif.] knew, Sean,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who was also appearing on the segment, interjected. “It’s very important to know what Pelosi knew and when she knew it. Everybody in Washington knows Swalwell is Pelosi’s fair-haired boy. She is his top political ally. I’m guessing she knew more about this than we originally suspected.
“He [Swalwell] said leadership knew,” Grenell responded quickly as the segment came to an end. “He said leadership knew about this.”
There must be a full classified briefing for the Senate and House intel committees about the Swalwell spy scandal.
Swalwell downplayed the China threat – and he says Nancy Pelosi & Adam Schiff were aware of his activities.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) December 10, 2020
A congressional Republican source, however, has said GOP members on the House Intelligence Committee, where Swalwell sits, were unaware if he may have been compromised by a Chinese spy.
“Did Schiff and Pelosi know? Why did no one take any steps to keep sensitive intel, at least as it relates to China, far away from a member who is at best potentially compromised?” A GOP source close to the White House told the New York Post.
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