Senior DHS official alleges in whistleblower complaint that he was told to stop providing intelligence analysis on threat of Russian interference

A senior Department of Homeland Security official alleges that he was told to stop providing intelligence analysis on the threat of Russian interference in the 2020 election, in part because it “made the President look bad,” an instruction he believed would jeopardize national security.

The official, Brian Murphy, who until recently was in charge of intelligence and analysis at DHS, said in a whistleblower complaint that on two occasions he was told to stand down on reporting about the Russian threat.

On July 8, Murphy said, acting Homeland Security secretary Chad Wolf told him that an “intelligence notification” regarding Russian disinformation efforts should be “held” because it was unflattering to Trump, who has long derided the Kremlin’s interference as a “hoax” that was concocted by his opponents to delegitimize his victory in 2016.

Murphy objected to Wolf’s instruction, “stating that it was improper to hold a vetted intelligence product for reasons [of] political embarrassment,” according to a copy of his whistleblower complaint that was obtained by The Washington Post.

Murphy also alleges that two months earlier, Wolf told him to stop producing intelligence assessments on Russia and shift the focus on election interference to China and Iran. He said Wolf told him “that these instructions specifically originated from White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien.”

Murphy said he would not comply with the instructions, which he believed would “put the country in substantial and specific danger,” according to the complaint, which was filed Tuesday with the DHS inspector general.

Murphy’s allegations track with concerns by other officials, as well as Democratic lawmakers and national security experts, that the Trump administration has tried to downplay the threat from Russia.

Last month, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence stated publicly that Russia, China and Iran were engaged in interference campaigns, an assessment that drew sharp rebukes from Democratic lawmakers, who said the administration was trying to equate the efforts of all three countries, when in fact Russia is the only one actively trying to help Trump by attacking his opponent, former vice president Joe Biden.

Murphy appeared to share those concerns, stating that the analysis in the intelligence notification, which he said was eventually leaked to the press, “attempts to place the actions of Russia on par with those of Iran and China in a manner that is misleading and inconsistent with the actual intelligence data.”

Recently, DHS issued a report that Russian media is spreading false allegations that mail-in voting is unsafe, with claims that echo the baseless assertions Trump and Attorney General William P. Barr have made that voting by mail is rife with fraud.

Murphy stated that after being told to stand down on Russia in May and shift his focus, he made two classified disclosures on the matter later that month to Ken Cuccinelli, the second-in-command at DHS. The second occurred after a deputies-level meeting of the National Security Council on election security.

Murphy did not provide further details on what he told Cuccinelli, but described his concerns as generally having to do with “abuse of authority, willfully withholding intelligence information from Congress, and the improper administration of an intelligence program.”

Murphy was removed from his position at DHS and assigned to a management role in July, following reports by The Post that his office had compiled “intelligence reports” about tweets by journalists who were covering protests in Portland, Ore.

Murphy also made a series of allegations in the whistleblower complaint that senior Trump administration officials had pressured him to provide what he considered misleading information about suspected terrorists crossing the border with Mexico, as part of an effort to bolster the case for building a border wall.

DHS officials came under pressure from the White House and then-spokeswoman Sarah Sanders to provide information on “known suspected terrorists” to support construction of the border wall during the government shutdown in January 2019, a former DHS official confirmed.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, was not party to the communications outlined in Murphy’s complaint but said they were consistent with the pressure coming from the White House at the time.

“We were all under pressure to get data on security threats crossing the border,” said another former senior DHS official. “The truth was that there is not a significant number of [known suspected terrorists] crossing illegally between ports of entry.”

There is more at the link above.   I need to point out how desperate tRump and his people are to minimize Russian interference, and anything anti-Russian, and misdirect it to other countries.  Our country has been taken over by Russia through a Manchurian Candidate named tRump.   Hugs

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