U.S. official claims pressure to downplay intel reports

U.S. official claims pressure to downplay intel reports

Homeland Security officials altered intelligence reports to try to make the border and the flow of illegal immigration seem more unsafe, a senior department official claims in a new whistleblower complaint released Wednesday by congressional Democrats.

DHS spokesman Alexei Woltornist flatly denied Murphy's allegations Wednesday, saying the department "looks forward to the results of any resulting investigation and we expect it will conclude that no retaliatory action was taken against Mr. Murphy".

Among the information allegedly censored were details regarding the rising threat of white supremacism and Russia's attempt to interfere in the 2020 election, according to former Department of Homeland Security official Brian Murphy, who filed the formal whistleblower complaint with the department's inspector general this week.

These instructions came directly from White House National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, according to the complaint. And note Wolf's alleged reasoning for "holding" the report: It "made the President look bad". In an annual report on threats to the nation, Murphy says, Undersecretary Kenneth Cuccinelli instructed him that "he needed to particularly modify the part on white supremacism in order that the risk appeared much less severe", and that it ought to "embrace info on distinguished violent teams. leftist". Murphy said she intentionally supplied incorrect data to make migrants seem like a more significant threat to national security, and when informed substantially fewer risky immigrants had come through than she claimed, Wolf said she should claim the information was classified if asked.

The complaint also said Murphy was pressured in 2018 to provide intelligence assessments to support the Trump administration's claims that migrants with terrorist ties were crossing the southwestern border of the US.

It was released a day later by the intelligence committee of the Democratic-controlled US House of Representatives.

"We've received a whistleblower complaint alleging DHS suppressed intel reports on Russian election interference, altered intel to match false Trump claims and made false statements to Congress", Schiff tweeted.

USA officials have said that Russia, China and Iran have been working to influence the outcome of the November 3 presidential election.

The complaint features a number of allegations against former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, current Acting Secretary Chad Wolf and his deputy Ken Cuccinelli.

The White House and DHS denied the allegations.

Final Could, nonetheless in response to Murphy's grievance, Secretary Chad Wolf ordered him to cease offering intelligence assessments on the specter of Russian interference in the United States of America, and to start out reporting on interference actions by China and Iran. Trump's clashes with the intelligence companies aren't new, however Murphy's grievance constitutes an especially detailed account of alleged strain on reticent profession officers to bow to Trump's political agenda. Mr. Murphy said he objected and was excluded from future meetings on the subject. Murphy was transferred after controversy over revelations, which he disputes, that his department had produced intelligence reports about journalists and protesters in Portland, Oregon.

Cuccinelli, Murphy said, also demanded the names of "deep state intelligence analysts" who wrote the reports.

The complaint comes from Brian Murphy, who ran DHS's intelligence branch until the end of July and was then reassigned to the agency's management division.

Murphy's complaint is likely to fuel concern from critics of the administration that the president and his appointees have sought to politicize the intelligence community.

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