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Chairman Cornyn, Ranking Member Durbin, and Members of the Subcommittee on Border Security and Immigration, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you to discuss national security concerns related to the exploitation of U.S. academic institutions by global adversaries.

While I cannot discuss the substance of Thursday's classified briefings, I was pleased that both meetings were bipartisan and that we were able to clearly and directly address the Members’ questions and concerns while also protecting sensitive sources and methods. As the White House has stated, Chief of Staff John Kelly and White House lawyer Emmet Flood were there to relay the President’s desire for as much openness as possible under the law; and both left—as planned—before the substantive portion of the meeting began.

Securing our nation’s election infrastructure is a vital national interest that requires the commitment of our federal, state, and local partners. This is an issue that the Administration takes seriously and is addressing with urgency. That is why today we sought to enlist Congress’ help in working with state and local election officials back home to raise awareness of the potential threats and urge them to continue to use available resources, either from DHS, the FBI or a private, third party.

Last Thursday, I had the honor of swearing in Michael K. Atkinson as Inspector General of the Intelligence Community after the Senate confirmed his nomination last Monday. Michael is the second official to hold this position since its creation in 2010.

I am delighted my former Senate colleagues voted this afternoon to confirm the nomination of Gina Haspel as CIA Director.  Gina has clearly demonstrated that she is a person of high integrity with valuable frontline and executive experience as a career intelligence officer.  Her confirmation represents the best we have to offer as a country.  On behalf of the Intelligence Community, we salute Director Haspel, a trailblazer who today becomes the first woman to lead the CIA.

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