White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney warned staff not to talk to President Donald Trump about the threat of Russia's interference in the 2020 elections because the president equated questions about the legitimacy of his presidency.
Before leaving the Ministry of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen had tried to focus the White House on preventing Russian interference in next year's presidential election.
But Mulvaney told her not to take it to the president, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
White House acting chief Mick Mulvaney warned staff not to talk to President Trump about the threat of Russia's interference in the 2020 election
President Trump compares the issue with questions about the legitimacy of his presidency
Mulvaney said it wasn't a good subject and should be kept below his level, an administration office told the newspaper.
Trump would believe that the Russian interference in the 2016 competition – to benefit his candidacy and damage to rival Hillary Clinton – raises questions about the legitimacy of his victory.
However, Nielsen was concerned about the increased cyber activity in Russia during last year's competitions: from using new techniques to distribute Americans using social media, to experiments by hackers, to divert internet traffic and infiltration of electricity networks.
One civil servant told The New York Times while DHS officials were adamant that the US should step up their cyber security efforts, the department was hampered by the White House's refusal to discuss it.
The White House has also played down Russian involvement in 2016.
The White House adviser, Jared Kushner, said he bought & # 39; Facebook ads & # 39; and claimed that the resulting investigations were more harmful than the original act.
"You look at what Russia did, you know, buying Facebook ads to try and sow dissenting opinions, it's terrible," he said at the Time 100 summit on Tuesday. & # 39; But I think the investigations and all the speculation that has happened in the last two years have had a much more serious impact on our democracy than a few Facebook ads. & # 39;
He added: & # 39; If you look at the extent of what they did, the resulting investigations have been much more damaging. & # 39;
Trump praised his son-in-law on Twitter for his words.
In the wake of Nielsen's departure, DHS officials have emphasized the work their agency is doing to prepare for next year's presidential election.
Kirstjen Nielsen tried to present cyber security issues to the president before leaving the Ministry of Homeland Security
Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said the agency & # 39; laser-focused & # 39; is at the 2020 competition
Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told Fox News Tuesday evening his desk was laser-focused & # 39; at the 2020 race.
& # 39; We are laser focused on the 2020 preparation. Our cyber security and infrastructure security for the office is called on this point. They work with all 50 states, & he said.
Christopher Krebs, director of the Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency of the DHS, told a House Committee in February that the agency broadened its reach to the states.
"In the run-up to the 2020 election season, the DHS will continue to give priority to elections by broadening the reach and depth of information exchange and assistance to national and local election officials and by sharing information on threats and mitigation strategies, & # 39; he said.
DHS also offers its support to democratic presidential campaigns – which take them on offer.
& # 39; We have not let anyone refuse to have a phone call with us or to be enthusiastic about the resources we offer or the support or services, & # 39; said DHS senior advisor on election security Matt Masterson during a panel discussion at the International Council of the Atlantic Council Conference on Cyber Involvement.
The president has long been furious about being the victim of a & # 39; witch hunt & # 39; with a special advice from Robert Mueller, stating that neither he nor his campaign conspired with Russia during the presidential race.
When Mueller was appointed, his report revealed, Trump said: & I am numb. This is the end of my presidency. & # 39;
Mueller discovered in his report that Facebook and Twitter were being abused by Russian trolls. His team accused 13 Russians working for a group called the Internet Research Agency that created fake accounts to push pro-Trump and anti-Clinton messages.
President Donald Trump praised his son-in-law Jared Kushner as & # 39; extraordinarily smart & # 39; on Tuesday after he downplayed the Russian election interference during a Top of Time 100
Jared Kushner cooked the election that interferes with & # 39; buying a number of Facebook ads & # 39; and claimed that the resulting investigations were more harmful than the original act
Millions of Facebook users saw disinformation posts and interaction with fake groups created by Russians, the Mueller report says.
& # 39; Individual IRA social media accounts attracted hundreds of thousands of followers & # 39 ;, states the special advisory report. & # 39; The Facebook group of the IRA & # 39; s & # 39; United Muslims of America & # 39; had more than 300,000 followers, the & # 39; Do not Shoot Us & # 39; Facebook group had more than 250,000 followers, the & # 39; Being Patriotic & # 39; Facebook group had more than 200,000 followers and the & # 39; Secured Borders & # 39; Facebook group had more than 130,000 followers. & # 39;