Joe Biden urged to declassify intel on 'serious national security threat' involving Russia

ITV News US Correspondent Dan Rivers explains what we know so far about the serious national security threat Joe Biden is being urged to reveal

Joe Biden is facing calls to declassify intelligence on a "serious national security threat" which is believed to be related to Russia, space and nuclear weapons.

The head of the House Intelligence Committee said Wednesday he had information the threat, and urged the president to reveal it so the US and its allies can openly discuss how to respond.

Mike Turner, a Republican from Ohio, gave no details about the nature of the threat in his statement, and the White House also declined to provide details.

However, two sources and a US official told CNN the threat is related to Russia, and multiple sources familiar with the intelligence described it as “very sensitive”.

A senior congressional aide said he understood the threats relate to a Russian anti-satellite weapon that may or may not have already been launched.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the aide said it was not yet clear if the Russian weapon has nuclear capability, but said that is the fear.

House Speaker Mike Johnson said there was no need for alarm, adding that he was not at liberty to disclose the classified information.

Rep. Mike Turner is leading calls for Joe Biden to declassify the intel. Credit: AP

"We just want to assure everyone steady hands are at the wheel. We’re working on it and there’s no need for alarm,” he told reporters at the Capitol.

Earlier on Wednesday Mr Turner sent an email to members of Congress saying his committee had “identified an urgent matter with regard to a destabilising foreign military capability” that should be known to all congressional policy makers.

He encouraged them to come to a SCIF, a secure area, to review the intelligence. He again provided no details. The Congressman's announcement appeared to catch the Biden administration off-guard. National security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters at the White House that he already had been due to brief Mr Turner and other senior congressional leaders on Thursday.

He said he was going to sit with him, and other members of the Gang of Eight, a group of Democratic and Republican members of Congress who are briefed on classified intelligence matters.

“I’ll just say that I personally reached out to the Gang of Eight. It is highly unusual, in fact, for the national security adviser to do that," Mr Sullivan added. He would not say whether the briefing was related to Mr Turner's warning, telling reporters: “I leave it to you to draw whatever connections you want.” Mr Johnson said he sent a letter last month to the White House requesting a meeting with the president to discuss “the serious national security issue that is classified.” He said Mr Sullivan's meeting was in response to his request.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...