Report: CIA Director Burns appears to have lied to Congress about think tank’s ties with CCP group

by WorldTribune Staff, May 6, 2022

CIA Director Bill Burns appears to have lied to Congress when he stated the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which he formerly led, had ended its relationship with groups linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), a report said.

During Senate confirmation hearings, Burns claimed he ended the Carnegie think tank’s longstanding relationship with the China-United States-Exchange Foundation (CUSEF) which he said he had “inherited” when became president of Carnegie in 2015, the National Pulse reported.

CIA Director Bill Burns / C-SPAN

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio explained that CUSEF is part of the CCP’s United Front Work Department, which seeks “to co-opt and neutralize sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of its ruling Chinese Communist Party” and “influence foreign governments to take actions or adopt positions supportive of Beijing’s preferred policies,” according to the U.S. government.

Burns responded by saying that “…on the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation, this is a relationship that I inherited when I became president of Carnegie and that I ended not long after I became president precisely for the concerns that you just described because we were increasingly worried about the expansion of Chinese influence operations. Shortly after I ended that relationship, we began a program at the Carnegie Endowment on countering foreign influence operations which was aimed mostly at China and Russia and was supported in part from a grant from the Global Engagement Center at the State Department in the last administration.”

Carnegie continued to accept funds and collaborate with officials tied to CUSEF during Burns’s tenure, and recently released another research paper on the subject of cyber attacks, in partnership with CUSEF and other CCP-funded institutions, the National Pulse report said.

The paper, released March, “is the latest piece of evidence contradicting Burns’s assertions,” Natalie Winters and Raheem Kassam wrote for the National Pulse.

Authors contributing to the paper included individuals from the SIIS Research Center for Global Cyberspace Governance – a “joint effort” involving China’s National Defense University and the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS).

SASS has been flagged by the FBI as a “front group for Chinese intelligence collection and overseas spy recruitment.” SASS was a key player in a 2019 criminal case involving a retired CIA operative selling classified U.S. defense documents to the CCP.

“The paper explains in great detail the U.S. government’s approach to responding – both publicly and privately – to cyberattacks conducted by China, effectively granting the Chinese Communist Party America’s playbook on the issue,” Winter and Kassam write.

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