Rep. Mike Turner says Speaker Johnson will “assert leadership” if any “improper” behavior by new Intelligence Committee members


Washington — Rep. Mike Turner, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on Sunday that he expects Speaker Mike Johnson to intervene should any “improper” behavior occur after the speaker appointed two controversial Trump allies to the committee.

“He’s going to continue to monitor the situation,” Turner said Sunday of Johnson on “Face the Nation,” adding that “if there’s any indication of anything improper happening,” he expects that “the speaker will assert leadership here.”

Johnson appointed two hardline Republicans, Reps. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Ronny Jackson of Texas, to the powerful House Intelligence Committee earlier this month. The move quickly sparked backlash, as some view the two lawmakers’ blemished records as posing disqualifying conflicts of interests with the committee that bears heavy influence on national security and foreign policy. 

Even so, Turner, an Ohio Republican, said the intelligence community indicated that there was not an ongoing or current issue that needed to be addressed. And he noted that the speaker, who he said has met with the committee, “has absolutely committed himself to these two individuals following the rules.”

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Rep. Mike Turner on “Face the Nation,” June 16, 2024.

CBS News


“Both of them have military experience, both of them have had access to classified information before and there’s been no reports of any incidences of their mishandling of classified information,” Turner added. 

Jackson, a former White House physician, was demoted by the Navy in 2022 after a Pentagon watchdog investigation substantiated allegations of inappropriate conduct. The report detailed two incidents where Jackson inappropriately used alcohol while in charge of providing medical care and treatment to former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, along with allegations that he disparaged subordinates.

Perry, the former leader of the House Freedom Caucus, had his phone seized in 2022 by the FBI as part of an investigation into the effort to overturn the 2020 election. Perry took aim at the committee in a statement following his appointment, saying that he looks forward to “conducting actual oversight — not blind obedience to some facets of our Intel Community that all too often abuse their powers, resources, and authority to spy on the American People.”

Turner said Perry has apologized, though he noted that “those are the types of words that you would not want from somebody who’s joining a committee that is obviously very dedicated to national security and very dedicated to working on a bipartisan way.” He added that upon joining the committee, he expects that Perry will be “absolutely satisfied that he can play a role, too, in the work that we’re doing for national security.”

On Jackson, Turner said the reports are “unrelated to the handling of classified information.” noting his military background and saying that his constituents “believe that those issues are resolved.”

“We’re going to be certainly working with the speaker and with Mr. Jackson so that again he is a very productive member of our committee,” Turner said. “And if there are any incidences, the speaker has indicated that as with Mr. Perry, that he will enforce our rules.”

CBS News reached out to Perry and Jackson’s offices for comment.



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