The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has informed the House and Senate Select Committees on Intelligence that it’ll no longer be briefing in-person on election security issues, according to letters obtained by CNN. Instead, ODNI will primarily provide written updates to the congressional panels, a senior administration official said.The official added that other agencies supporting election security, including the Department of Justice, Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security, intend to continue briefing Congress.Still, the abrupt announcement is a change that runs counter to the pledge of transparency and regular briefings on election threats by the intelligence community.It also comes after the top intelligence official on election security issued a statement earlier this month saying China, Russia and Iran are seeking to interfere in the 2020 US election, a warning that prompted some backlash from Democrats on Capitol Hill who have continued to push for the public release of more information about the nature of those efforts.
Specifically, a senior intelligence official discounted the possibility of foreign actors mass producing fake ballots to interfere in the November elections, again breaking with Trump who has continued to insist that mail-in voting poses a significant threat to election security.“We have no information or intelligence that any nation state threat actor is engaging in activity … to undermine any part of the mail-in vote or ballots,” the official told reporters on Wednesday.
In response to Trump’s accusations about leaks, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff tweeted, “As usual, President Trump is lying and projecting. Trump fired the last DNI for briefing Congress on Russian efforts to help his campaign. Now he’s ending briefings altogether. Trump doesn’t want the American people to know about Russia’s efforts to aid his re-election.”