Written by Ashton Snyder on
 June 17, 2024

House Intel Chairman Mike Turner Justifies Inclusion of Trump Supporters

House Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner defended the appointment of two controversial Republican allies to the committee.

Responding to concerns, Turner emphasized their military background and familiarity with classified data, the Washington Examiner reported.

Turner Backs Jackson and Perry Despite Democratic Concerns

Appearing on CBS News’s Face the Nation, Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, addressed criticisms surrounding the appointments of Reps. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, and Scott Perry, R-Penn., to the House Intelligence Committee. Both representatives are known for strongly supporting former President Donald Trump, leading to concerns about their credibility and behavior.

Turner defended the selection based on Jackson's and Perry's military service and prior experience handling sensitive information. He stated, "Both of them have military experience, both of them have had access to classified information before, and there have been no reports of any incidences of their mishandling of classified information."

Perry’s appointment, in particular, has met opposition from Democrats who worry about his commitment to the committee's serious responsibilities.

Turner explained that House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., will monitor the situation and take action if necessary. Turner remarked that Speaker Johnson is "going to continue to monitor the situation" and would step in "if there’s any indication of anything improper happening."

Military Background Emphasized

Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., expressed his concerns about maintaining the committee's integrity and seriousness. He emphasized the importance of careful oversight, which seems to resonate across party lines. Turner assured that Perry and Jackson would be under scrutiny and Speaker Johnson’s intervention would be prompt if needed.

These assurances follow Perry's pledge to focus on thorough oversight rather than unquestioningly following the intelligence community. Perry has communicated his intent to engage in what he describes as "actual oversight—not blind obedience to some facets of our Intelligence Community."

Meanwhile, Jackson's past actions are also under the microscope. Allegations against Jackson include inappropriate behavior during his tenure as the top White House physician. Although concerning, these allegations have not been linked to mishandling classified information, which Turner highlighted as crucial in justifying his appointment to the committee.

Allegations of Past Behavior

Moreover, Jackson’s history draws particular scrutiny. Reports of providing medical treatment while on sedatives when serving as the lead physician at the White House cast a shadow over his suitability for handling national secrets. Yet, the emphasis remains on his non-incident record with classified data.

In concluding the interview, Turner reiterated that the oversight mechanisms in place reflect a commitment to appropriate scrutiny and intervention. Speaker Johnson's office's assurance aims to bolster public confidence. However, eyes remain fixed on the performance and conduct of both appointees.

The controversies surrounding Jackson and Perry have brought to the forefront the delicate balance of trust and accountability within sensitive government roles. Turner’s defense, reflecting his confidence in their qualifications, aims to counter the criticisms head-on while ensuring every necessary precaution is observed.

In the end, their appointments highlight the ongoing dynamics within the House Intelligence Committee and the broader implications these choices hold for its operations moving forward. As Turner and Speaker Johnson continue to monitor, the focus remains on maintaining the committee's integrity and trustworthiness.

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