Findings, music, and occasional reflections by Paul Woodward

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Whistleblower accuses Trump appointees of downplaying Russian interference and White supremacist threat

CNN reports:

A whistleblower is alleging that top political appointees in the Department of Homeland Security repeatedly instructed career officials to modify intelligence assessments to suit President Donald Trump’s agenda by downplaying Russia’s efforts to interfere in the US and the threat posed by White supremacists, according to documents reviewed by CNN and a source familiar with the situation.

The whistleblower claims that acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf instructed DHS officials earlier this year to “cease providing intelligence assessments on the threat of Russian interference” and, instead, focus their efforts on gathering information related to activities being carried out by China and Iran.

Trump and several of his top national security advisers have repeatedly sought to emphasize the threat posed by China in recent months while downplaying the intelligence community’s warnings related to Russian interference in the 2020 election.

DHS did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment regarding allegations that Wolf and acting Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Ken Cuccinelli ordered officials to change intelligence assessments for political reasons but have broadly denied either man took actions that constitute as an abuse of power, as stated in the complaint.

The complaint also alleges that Wolf and Cuccinelli, both Trump appointees, directed officials to change intelligence assessments to ensure they matched up with misleading public comments from Trump about Antifa and “anarchist” groups, according to a complaint filed with the DHS inspector general. [Continue reading…]

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