Sen. Tom Cotton fired back at Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday for calling on intelligence agencies to give "fake" intelligence briefings to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
"It's disturbing that Harry Reid is pressuring intelligence agencies to inject politics into their briefings. It is the duty of the intelligence community to present information and analysis to policymakers free from political bias," the Arkansas Republican, who is a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said in a statement to the press.
"The system of government Harry Reid is advocating — where the intelligence apparatus provides disinformation to one party and actively supports another — does indeed exist: in Putin's Russia, not in the United States," Cotton continued.
Trump on Wednesday sparked the ire of Reid and many others, including some Republicans, when he said in a press conference, "I will tell you this, Russia, if you're listening I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing."
Trump on Thursday said he was being sarcastic in making the pleas, and talk radio host Rush Limbaugh proclaimed it a clever move by Trump to steal the spotlight from this week's Democratic National Convention while focusing the spotlight again on the use of a private email server by his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
But Reid told The Huffington Post he was concerned about someone like Trump getting classified briefings. Both Trump and Clinton are scheduled to receive limited briefings beginning on Friday.
"Fake it, pretend you're doing a briefing, but you can't give the guy any information," Reid said.
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