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Top intel Republicans warn of nuclear aggression, accuse Biden of using Ukraine war as a ‘shield’ for policies

FIRST ON FOX: Top Republicans on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) are warning that the United States is facing increased nuclear aggression from foes, and also calling out the Biden administration over its “far-left” energy policies that are being exposed by spiking gas prices and other side effects of the Russia-Ukraine war.

During a hearing Tuesday, titled the “Open Annual Worldwide Threats Hearing,” U.S. intelligence officials warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin is frustrated that his invasion of Ukraine is not going as planned, and that the coming weeks will get “ugly” as he takes an even more aggressive approach to try and take over the country.

Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, the ranking member of the HPSCI, pressed Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines during the hearing about the possibility that Russia is increasing its nuclear prowess against the U.S.

RUSSIA INVADES UKRAINE: LIVE UPDATES 

“Would it be correct to characterize that likely your assessment is that the [nuclear] threat is increasing?” asked Turner during the hearing. 

Haines responded: “The threat is increasing generally, yes. I think that is fair.”

Turner told Fox News Digital in an exclusive statement after the conclusion of the hearing that there is a growing threat of “nuclear aggression” from America’s allies due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

“The growing threat of nuclear aggression from our adversaries was confirmed by our Intelligence Community in today’s hearing. The Biden Administration is currently undertaking its Nuclear Posture Review which will dictate our nuclear policy and the modernization of our nuclear triad.  We must act now to update this critical capability, making certain we have a safe, secure, and reliable nuclear deterrent to counter our adversaries.”

Members of Congress concluded the public portion of the hearing by noon, and then went into a closed door session later in the afternoon with the intelligence officials.

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 14: U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) (R) speaks to members of the press. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

In addition, House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., accused Biden of using the war in Ukraine as a “shield” for his far-left energy agenda, and called for American energy independence. 

“Make no mistake, Joe Biden’s war on American energy is to blame for the price of gas hitting record highs. Biden is using Russia’s war in Ukraine as a shield for his Far-Left anti-energy agenda,” Stefanik told Fox News Digital after the hearing ended.

“Instead of unleashing American energy dominance at home, the Biden administration is turning to other foreign dictators and Russia-aligned regimes to fill this need. We must unleash American energy dominance and no longer depend on our foreign adversaries for oil and gas. That is the only way America can reverse the historic gas prices hurting families across the country and ensure our energy and national security.”

Rep. Mike  Turner, R-Ohio, is the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee.

Stefanik also questioned FBI Director Chris Wray during the hearing about the tragic Schoharie County limo crash in Upstate New York, which she said was mishandled by the FBI. 

“Today, I stood up for Upstate NY families who tragically lost 20 people in the tragic Schoharie County limo crash that could have been avoided had the FBI not turned a blind eye to the criminal actions of the driver – an FBI informant – and his company’s long history of negligence. It is part of Congress’ job to conduct proper oversight of the FBI’s activities, and I will not hesitate to compel all FBI documents regarding the tragic Schoharie County limo crash with a Congressional subpoena next year in a Republican Majority,” she told Fox News Digital.

President Biden on Tuesday announced a ban on importing Russian oil, as the country’s deadly war with Ukraine continues.

“It’s simply not true that my administration or policies are holding back domestic energy production,” Biden said Tuesday, pushing back on criticism from Republicans and noting that 90% of onshore oil production takes place on non-federal lands. 

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