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Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Marco Rubio during an August hearing on Capitol Hill. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Acting Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Saturday criticized an Office of the Director of National Intelligence decision to cancel in-person briefings with Congress on election security issues, but also claimed leaks by members of Congress are part of the problem.

What he's saying: “Congressional oversight of intelligence activities now faces a historic crisis," Rubio said in a statement. "Intelligence agencies have a legal obligation to keep Congress informed of their activities. And members of Congress have a legal obligation to not divulge classified information. In my short time as Acting Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, I have witnessed firsthand how this delicate balance has been destroyed.

  • “Divulging access to classified information in order to employ it as a political weapon is not only an abuse, it is a serious federal crime with potentially severe consequences on our national security. This situation we now face is due, in no small part, to the willingness of some to commit federal crimes for the purpose of advancing their electoral aims."
  • "Yet, this grotesque criminal misconduct does not release the intelligence community from fulfilling its legal requirements to respond to Congressional oversight committees and to keep members of Congress fully informed of relevant information on a timely basis."
  • "I have spoken to the Director Radcliffe who stated unequivocally that he will continue to fulfill these obligations. In particular, he made explicitly clear that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will continue receiving briefings on all oversight topics, including election matters.”

Go deeper: Read: Intelligence chief's letter to Congress on election security briefings

Go deeper

Biden's pick for intelligence chief is familiar with cyber challenges

Avril Haines. Photo: Mark Makela via Getty Images

Avril Haines, Biden’s pick for director of national intelligence, has a long history of working on critical cybersecurity and digital challenges facing the intelligence community.

Why it matters: A deep understanding of cyber issues is of great value in the position, including as the Biden administration seeks to restore faith in a role that has faced accusations of politicization in the Trump era.

Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon approves request for 100 National Guard troops for "Justice for J6" rally

Security fencing has been reinstalled around the Capitol. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved a request from Capitol Police to provide 100 D.C. National Guard troops in case law enforcement requires additional support at Saturday's "Justice for J6" rally at the Capitol.

Why it matters: Security preparations have ramped up ahead of the pro-Trump demonstration, where hundreds of protesters sympathetic to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack are expected to gather.

Biden threatens new sanctions against Ethiopian officials over Tigray conflict

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

President Biden on Friday signed an executive order allowing the Treasury and State Departments to impose sanctions against Ethiopian officials "responsible for, or complicit in, prolonging the conflict" in the Tigray region.

Driving the news: Hundreds of thousands of people are facing famine conditions in Tigray, but less than 10 percent of the needed humanitarian supplies has reached the region over the last month "due to the obstruction of aid access" by the Ethiopian government, according to Biden administration officials.