Trump calls revelation officials say Russia is interfering with “wrong information campaign by Democrats”
Donald Trump rejected a report claiming that his former acting director of National Intelligence said that Congress wants Russia to win in November, claiming it is just another “hoax.”
“Another misinformation campaign is being launched by Democrats in Congress and says that Russia is preferring me to one of the candidates for Do Nothing Democrat who are still unable to count their votes in Iowa after two weeks. Hoax number 7! Trump complained on Twitter on Friday morning.
President’s remarks come after The New York Times published a report Thursday stating Acting DNI that Joseph Maguire told Congress during a classified briefing that the Kremlin wanted Trump to be re-elected because it would be better for their interests.
Maguire was recently expelled from his acting post and the American ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell was appointed in his place while Trump continues to look for a permanent director.
Donald Trump said an intelligence community warns Congress that Russia wants it to win re-election, is a “wrong information campaign,” and another “deception” created by Democrats
He responded to a report that the intelligence committee was told at a secret hearing that Russia would find Trump better for their agenda for another four years
According to the Times report, Maguire’s assistant told the House Intelligence Committee that Russia was trying to get involved in the 2020 elections because Trump was four years back.
The committee members were informed that Russia is in favor of Trump and were told about his efforts to hack and attack the election infrastructure and the ongoing attempts by the Kremlin to use social media platforms in its campaign of distrust.
The agents of Vladimir Putin want to help both Trump and raise public doubts about the results of the elections, the officials informed the legislators during the session about “the integrity of our upcoming elections.”
One legislator told the Daily Beast that the officials informed them: “It goes on with the same goal and the same goal, and it is clear that they [the Russians] preference for one candidate over the other.
Trump was furious when he heard that Schiff had been informed that intelligence officials believe Russia is trying to help his re-election – and mistakenly believed it was only the Democrat who had been informed.
The president believed the information would be used against him, sources told the New York Times.
Interference? A senior intelligence officer told the House Intelligence Committee, led by Trump’s accusation rival Adam Schiff, that Vladimir Putin’s Russia is intervening in the 2020 elections to secure a second term for Donald Trump
Key figures: Rick Grenell, the ultra-faithful ambassador of Donald Trump in Germany, was appointed Wednesday as the new acting director of the national intelligence service, who succeeded Joseph Maguire – whose assistant told Congress that Russia wanted a second term for the president and interfered
Schiff was the leading Democratic house manager in Trump’s removal sentence, which ended in his acquittal earlier this month.
After hearing that Schiff had been informed, Trump had a furious confrontation with the acting director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire.
Maguire was replaced on Wednesday evening by Rick Grenell, the ultra-faithful ambassador of Trump in Germany.
The New York Times reported that two Trump officials said the timing was a coincidence and not because of the fight over the briefing.
The official who told the legislators that Russia was involved was named as Maguire’s assistant, Shelby Pierson, who serves as the top election security officer.
Trump exploded in the Oval Office in Maguire last week about what the president considered unfaithful to the staff, referring to Pierson’s briefing.
That ruined Maguire’s chance to become the permanent intelligence chief, sources said The Washington Post.
Trump wrongly believed that Pierson gave the information exclusively to Schiff and gave Maguire a “dressing up party” that made him “despondent,” sources told the newspaper.
Pierson chairs the Election Executive and Leadership Board, which was established in July 2019 to deal specifically with electoral security issues.
She gave the House Intelligence Committee briefing last Thursday.
One of Trump’s Republican allies in the committee told him what she said, the Post reported.
Some of Trump’s greatest defenders during the investigation into the house accusation – including representatives Devin Nunes and Elise Stefanik – are on the intelligence panel.
The New York Times said that Pierson’s conclusion had caused a queue among members of the Intel committee.
Republicans on the committee, including ranking member Devin Nunes, attended the briefing and challenged Pierson about the conclusion.
They argued that Trump had taken action against Russia and had improved European security.
“The Republicans went crazy,” a member said.
The briefing of the intelligence community will inevitably lead to new tensions between Trump and his spies.
He has publicly expressed distrust of findings that he disagrees by telling them to “go back to school” in 2019 and accuse them of underestimating Iran’s threat and over-emphasizing that from North Korea during a public briefing to Congress.
Mike Quigley, a democratic member of the Intel committee, said he feared that Pierson and others would be endangered by saying that Russia is in favor of Trump.
“If you don’t agree with the king, you’re gone,” Quigley told The Daily Beast.
“That has a hair-raising effect on people who want to tell the truth, and that makes us less safe.”
Amid Maguire’s move, two senior members of his staff resigned – the chief executive, Andrew Hallman, and general counsel, Jason Klitenic.
It is unclear whether both were still in service when Grenell took on his new role on Thursday.
Grenell is one of Trump’s best loyalists and will also write history as the first openly gay secretary.
It puts a ragged pro-Trump figure at the head of the intelligence community, but will – apparently – not be a permanent movement.
Grenell used his Twitter account to say, “The president will soon announce the nominee (not me).”
The appointment was immediately divided.
“He is probably the most unqualified person ever appointed to this position,” said Larry Pfeiffer, a former intelligence officer who had established the office of the director of the national intelligence service for years in response to September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks .
But Grenell has support among the President’s followers on Capitol Hill. “Ric has a proven track record of fighting for our country, and now he will work every day to ensure that Americans are safe,” said R-Ca, Kevin McCarthy minority committee leader.
Maguire had until March 12 to continue acting as DNI, a role he played when Dan Coats retired as the last permanent leader of the intelligence community.
Both informed: Devin Nunes, the Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee, and his Democratic president Adam Schiff were both told about the interference of Russia by the intelligence officials – but Trump mistakenly believed that only Schiff was told
Main problem: Grenell used his Twitter feed to send a warning to the UK after giving Huawei the green light to build part of his 5G mobile phone network in violation of US blocking requirements
Trump tweeted that Maguire might have a different role in the administration; he had previously been director of the National Counterterrorism Center after a career with the navy as SEAL and head of special operations.
Maguire and the wider intelligence community were driven to the center of the news agenda by the whistleblower letter in which Trump was accused of misconduct in his relations with Ukraine.
Grenell is eligible to become acting director because he already has a Senate-confirmed role as ambassador to Germany, voted through 56-42, and was sworn in by Mike Pence with his partner Matt Lashey by his side, becoming the highest rank gay civil servant in a republican administration.
Grenell has never worked in the intelligence community before, but was also driven as a possible director of national security at the White House, a job that went to Robert O’Brien after John Bolton’s sudden departure.
He has already spoken about one intelligence problem and says it is necessary to prevent Huawei from having access to 5G networks for mobile phones in the West.
He used Twitter to give the United Kingdom a direct warning this week that it is facing losing access to the US intelligence service – which he will now control – after Prime Minister Boris Johnson allowed Huawei to join the 5G network of the country
Trump had a tense relationship with Coats, who had endorsed the American intelligence community’s assessment that Russia had interfered in the 2016 presidential election with the aim of promoting Trump over his democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
Grenell has also led the US opposition to Nord Stream 2, a pipeline designed to increase the flow of natural gas from Russia to Germany.
The US is opposed on strategic grounds and has used sanctions to derail the project.
And the move comes at a time when the Justice Department has a prosecutor – John Durham – who is conducting a criminal investigation into the origin of the Trump-Russia probe.
The focus of the probe has been reported on the analysis that led to the conclusion that Russia was involved in the elections in favor of Trump.
It has apparently also focused on the actions of Obama-appointed intelligence officers John Brennan, the CIA director, and James Clapper, the director of the national intelligence service, both of which have been frequent Trump targets and are frank critics of the president.