Trudeau won’t say if Liberal MPs allegedly conspired with foreign states

Click to play video: 'Trudeau points to “concerns” with NSICOP report on foreign interference'
Trudeau points to “concerns” with NSICOP report on foreign interference
WATCH: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continues to be plagued by questions about alleged foreign interference by countries like China and India. Those questions come in the wake of a damning report that suggests some MPs are engaging with foreign states. As Mackenzie Gray reports, Trudeau said he has some "concerns" about the report, but is not volunteering any specifics – Jun 15, 2024

BARI, Italy – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would not say if current members of the Liberal caucus are named in a classified version of a stunning national security report that alleges some parliamentarians are either “semi-witting or witting” participants in foreign interference efforts.

When asked twice Saturday by Global News if any of his current MPs are named, Trudeau did not directly answer the question.

“The issue of foreign interference is one that this government has taken incredibly seriously since 2015,” Trudeau told reporters from the G7 in Italy.

The unredacted report produced by the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP), a group comprised of members from all parties, said that some parliamentarians are “semi-witting or witting” participants in the efforts of foreign states to meddle in Canadian politics but did not name specific MPs or senators.

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Both New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Party leader Elizabeth May were given access to the full, unredacted version of that NSICOP report and, afterward, said that no members of their caucus were named.

The public, redacted version of the NSICOP report did not identify any parliamentarians and did not provide any details, such as the country involved, about how they may have participated in foreign interference. Singh and May upheld that secrecy and neither of them would identify parliamentarians or foreign states alleged to have been engaged in foreign interference.

Bloc Québecois leader Yves-François Blanchet has also committed to reviewing the unredacted report but has not yet done so. Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre has declined to take the steps necessary to do the same.

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Trudeau echoed previous concerns made by Public Safety Minister Dominic Leblanc, that the committee had not properly interpreted intelligence provided to them by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and other national security agencies. Both Trudeau and LeBlanc have also seen the entire unredacted NSICOP report.

“We made clear some of the concerns we have with the way NSICOP drew their conclusions,” Trudeau said. “I think that’s an important part of the process.”

Despite his disagreement, Trudeau did not provide any examples of what he found to be inaccurate with the report or provide any additional information about what is in the unredacted version of the document.

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Click to play video: 'Singh says alleged colluders of foreign interference are ‘traitors’'
Singh says alleged colluders of foreign interference are ‘traitors’

This is not the first time Trudeau has disputed key findings on foreign interference. During his testimony at the Public Inquiry Into Foreign Interference Trudeau also questioned whether intelligence officials were familiar enough with the process to nominate political candidates to understand potential issues.

Trudeau also said work is now underway with the officials from the ongoing Foreign Interference Inquiry to review the materials that informed the NSCICOP report after the House of Commons overwhelmingly voted to refer the matter to the public inquiry.

The report, which reviewed foreign interference as far back as 2018, stated actions by unnamed parliamentarians were in some cases criminal, “deeply unethical” and “contrary to the oaths and affirmations parliamentarians take to conduct themselves in the best interests of Canada.”

Singh went as far as to say that he believes some current members of the House of Commons are “traitors to the country” after he read the classified version of the report.

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“The conclusions that are publicly available suggest that there are a number of MPs that were engaged in activities that were unethical, in some cases illegal or criminal. After having read the unredacted version, I agree with that finding.”

Click to play video: 'Foreign interference: Elizabeth May has ‘no worries’ about disloyal current MPs'
Foreign interference: Elizabeth May has ‘no worries’ about disloyal current MPs

Singh’s comments stand in contrast to Green Party Leader Elizabeth May’s remarks after reading the full NSICOP report.

May was the first opposition leader to read the unredacted document and said she was “vastly relieved” at what she says she found there, calling the “media firestorm” surrounding the NSICOP report “overblown.”

– with Files from Touria Izri and The Canadian Press

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