Republicans Question Spy Agencies’ Work on Domestic Extremism

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Republicans Question Spy Agencies’ Work on Domestic Extremism

In an interview before the hearing, Representative Adam B. Schiff, the California Democrat who leads the House Intelligence Committee, said the nat

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In an interview before the hearing, Representative Adam B. Schiff, the California Democrat who leads the House Intelligence Committee, said the nature of the terrorism threat facing the United States had changed, shifting from the international threat of Al Qaeda or the Islamic State to domestic terrorism motivated by white nationalism.

“That requires a very different approach,” he said.

Throughout the Trump administration, the House Intelligence Committee has been bitterly divided. Democrats on the committee have explored Russian efforts to influence American politics. But Republicans have disputed many of those findings, and instead attacked the F.B.I. and intelligence agencies’ work to examine Moscow’s influence operations.

In the interview, Mr. Schiff said he hoped this year could yield a “resumption of normalcy” on the committee after a fraught four years. He said he had invited Republicans to work together on issues like improving intelligence work on China.

But on Thursday, there was little sign of any new comity.

Representative Devin Nunes of California, the top Republican on the committee, closed the hearing saying that anti-Republican partisanship in the intelligence community was becoming worse.

“I’ll tell you, half of America, Middle America, they don’t trust these agencies right now,” he said. “Republicans feel like they’ve been targeted. And you hear that every single day.”

Unsurprisingly, Mr. Schiff disputed that.

“I take a very different view of the professionals within the I.C. and within the F.B.I., who I think are consummate professionals, and to whom we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude,” Mr. Schiff said, referring to the intelligence community. “Through these turbulent times they’ve kept their head down, they’ve done their work. They’ve helped keep the country safe.”

And then he gaveled the hearing to a close.

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