U.S. intelligence says Russia seeking to boost Trump’s re-election bid
Democrats have already condemned the president, who, according to press reports, decided to replace the head of National Intelligence after a briefing for lawmakers on the security of the elections.
President Donald Trump, according to several publications, decided to fire the head of National Intelligence immediately after holding a secret electoral security briefing for lawmakers.
The Washington Post and New York Times reported Thursday that the president was outraged to hear of a briefing last week for members of the House Intelligence Committee. Trump was concerned that National Intelligence officers shared information that could be used against him.
Then Trump summoned Joseph Maguire to his office, acting. Director of National Intelligence. On the same day, the president finally decided to replace Maguire with another person..
Maguire was “given a headwash … It served as a catalyst,” said a source who spoke to WP on condition of anonymity..
According to the NYT, the president was pissed off by the assessment voiced by Shelby Pearson, one of Maguire’s senior advisers, during the briefing. She said Russia is interfering in the 2020 presidential campaign in an attempt to promote Trump’s re-election.
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Intelligence report: Russia is already interfering in the 2020 elections
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During a briefing at the Intelligence Committee, Trump’s allies challenged the intelligence community’s findings, recalling that Trump is tough on Russia and is trying to strengthen European security.
Some intelligence officials view the briefing as a tactical mistake, saying that if the National Intelligence officer speaking at the briefing spoke in a different form or did not mention the aspect of “Russian support” at all, it would help to avoid the anger of the Republicans.
Officials from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and his Electoral Security Office declined to respond to VOA questions.
A request to the White House also went unanswered, but reactions from Democratic lawmakers were immediate..
Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, tweeted that “American voters should decide the outcome of American elections – not Vladimir Putin.” She added that all members of Congress “must condemn the President’s efforts to ignore threats to the integrity of our democracy and politicize our intelligence community.”.
“I am seriously concerned,” Benny Thompson, chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, said Thursday evening..
“The president puts his ego above the country. Having fired the acting Director of National Intelligence Maguire, because his staff presented to Congress the frank conclusions of the intelligence community regarding Russian interference in the 2020 presidential election, the president not only refused to fight foreign intelligence services, he invited them, “Thompson added.
The Associated Press recalls that Shelby Pearson herself told NPR last month that Russia “is already conducting operations to influence candidates in 2020. But we have no evidence this time that our opponents directly consider interference in the counting of votes or in the voting results. “.
Pearson, appointed in July 2019 by then National Intelligence Director Dan Coates, works with the CIA, FBI, NSA, and Department of Homeland Security to expose forces trying to interfere in the U.S. election..
Pearson said in an interview with NPR that the US does not know exactly what the Russians are planning, but added that the problem is not only about Russia..
“We are also concerned about China, Iran, non-state actors, hacktivists and, frankly, especially for the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI – even Americans who may try to undermine the credibility of the elections,” she said..
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