Interview with Republican Chair of House Intelligence Committee Mike Turner
MARGARET BRENNAN: I had the pleasure of speaking with Rep. Mike Turner, the Republican Chair of the House Intelligence Committee. Welcome back, sir.
REP. MIKE TURNER: Thank you, Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You have previously stated that the attack by Hamas on October 7 was a major intelligence failure. Can the U.S. trust Israeli intelligence moving forward?
REP. TURNER: There was certainly a gap in Israel’s intelligence gathering during the October 7 attack. The lack of preparation and response fueled doubts about their accuracy. We are now working with Israel to assist in locating and understanding Hamas’ structure. It is clear that Israel also has limitations in its capabilities. Additionally, the lack of an immediate response to the Hamas attack raised concerns about Israel’s readiness to address the situation. However, Israel’s rapid progress is surprising, but there are still doubts about the reports coming out of Gaza.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Can Israel successfully eliminate Hamas?
REP. TURNER: Israel has the ability to significantly diminish Hamas’ capacity to conduct attacks. This could also create an opportunity for Palestinians in Gaza to transition to a different form of government. The people in Gaza are also victims of Hamas’ actions, highlighting the urgency of addressing this issue.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you have intelligence on the use of the amphetamine Captagon by some Hamas attackers?
REP. TURNER: We have not seen specific intelligence on the use of Captagon. The reports are troubling and emphasize the severity of the attack.
MARGARET BRENNAN: How do you assess the current threat of foreign terrorist groups targeting the U.S.?
REP. TURNER: The FBI director’s public statements on the increase in terrorist threats against the U.S. are unusual and concerning. The chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan and the southern border situation have contributed to the rise in terrorist threats, illustrating the urgency of addressing these issues.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you support an overhaul of border policy?
REP. TURNER: Border policy reform should be part of a comprehensive national security package. The border needs to be secure to prevent individuals allied with international terrorist organizations from entering the U.S.
MARGARET BRENNAN: When will the Republican-controlled House reauthorize section 702?
REP. TURNER: Section 702 is essential for collecting data from foreign nationals abroad to protect the U.S. We must continue to gather this information to maintain national security.
MARGARET BRENNAN: What message will be sent if no charges are brought against President Biden in the alleged mishandling of classified info?
REP. TURNER: Failing to hold individuals accountable for mishandling classified information shows a two-tier system of justice. There must be consequences for such actions, regardless of political affiliation.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Thank you for your insights, Rep. Turner.