China a bigger threat to the US than Russia: Ric Grenell

China has been allowed to hoodwink the American public: Former DNI Grenell

Former acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell discusses China being a bigger threat than Russia.

China is a bigger threat than Russia because they have become a “crisis" for U.S. "business, academia, and the public,” former acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell said on Tuesday.

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“We don't want to undercut Russia as a problem. Russia is a problem. They certainly are responsible for hacks, and misinformation. We used to call it propaganda," Grenell told FOX Business' "Varney & Co."

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Although Russia has engaged in "propaganda-misinformation campaigns," the public has been "told for too long that engagement with China has worked." Grenell pressed that it is a "problem" because "the public has really relaxed on a threat of China.” Furthermore, Grenell said that Democrats have diverted the U.S.’s attention from China toward Russia while the communist country has exerted influence over the United Nations.

“We have seen too many times the Beijing line spewed by the Democrats that you should look over there. Look at Russia. Russia is a bigger threat as China has started to rise. They manipulate us at the U.N. they pretend to be a permanent member of the Security Council and, yet, they walk down the hallway and they organize with the developing nation and they create and lead the policy for how the U.N. pays for developing nations and they are one of the primary benefits of that policy,” he explained and he adding that "we’ve allowed them to just really hoodwink not only the American public but the international community.”

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Grenell's comments come after Attorney General William Barr on Monday contradicted President Trump and sided with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in blaming the Russians for a major hack into American government systems that compromised several major agencies.

The Russians, it was revealed earlier this month, hacked into SolarWinds, a software company that manages information technology infrastructures. The hacking went on for at least months before it was detected and potentially put at risk some of the U.S. government's most important secrets. Pompeo had previously said the hack was "pretty clearly" done by Russia.

"I agree with Secretary Pompeo's assessment," Barr said Monday. "It certainly appears to be the Russians. But I'm not going to discuss it beyond that."

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After U.S. agencies were allegedly hacked by Russia, Grenell reacted, pressing that the American public needs to understand that "raw intelligence" is an "estimate" to send to intelligence "experts to come up with an assessment."

"Estimates" could be "right or wrong," Grenell said before touting U.S. intelligence officials as "some of the world's best intelligence officers."

"They give a judgment on these little pieces. It is really important to not overemphasize the little pieces that you hear until the intelligence community has a… U.S. intel-wide assessment," Grenell explained. "That has not been done yet."

Fox News' Tyler Olson contributed to this report. 

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