In addition to leaking her travel plans via military transport to visit troops in Afghanistan on Thursday by announcing publicly he was “postponing” her trip, President Donald Trump also leaked her subsequent commercial travel plans, Speaker Nancy Pelosi says.
By doing so, Pelosi says the threat assessment, according to the U.S. State Dept., rules her trip too dangerous, forcing her to postpone the trip.
President Trump refusing to allow the Speaker to use military aircraft during the shutdown was a direct response to her disinviting him to deliver the State of the Union Address before a joint session of Congress. The President did not refuse to allow the First Lady to use military aircraft when she traveled to Mar-a-Lago Thursday afternoon.
“The United States Congress is a co-equal branch of government in our system of checks and balances. The Congress has a constitutional responsibility to conduct oversight in the war zone where our men and women in uniform are risking their lives every day,” Speaker Pelosi’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Drew Hammill, said in a statement.
“After President Trump revoked the use of military aircraft to travel to Afghanistan, the delegation was prepared to fly commercially to proceed with this vital trip to meet with our commanders and troops on the front lines.”
“In the middle of the night, the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service provided an updated threat assessment detailing that the President announcing this sensitive travel had significantly increased the danger to the delegation and to the troops, security, and other officials supporting the trip. This morning, we learned that the Administration had leaked the commercial travel plans as well.”
News that high-level government officials are traveling to war zones is never released until they arrive, for obvious reasons of security and safety, to them and to the troops.
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Whistleblower: DHS Chief Chad Wolf Blocked Intel Official From Reporting on Russian Interference, White Supremacists
Dept. of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf, following orders of the White House, directed U.S. Intelligence officials to not report on the threat of Russian interference or white supremacists in the U.S., a whistleblower alleges.
The Washington Post notes the order to “stop providing intelligence analysis on the threat of Russian interference in the 2020 election,” came “in part because it ‘made the President look bad,'” and was “an instruction he believed would jeopardize national security.”
The New York Times adds to the reporting, revealing the Dept. of Homeland Security’s “second highest ranked official, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, also ordered him to modify intelligence assessments to make the threat of white supremacy ‘appear less severe’ and include information on violent ‘left-wing’ groups, according to the complaint, which was released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee.”
Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff released that information in the form of a whistleblower reprisal complaint and press release, which “outlines grave and disturbing allegations that senior White House and Department of Homeland Security officials improperly sought to politicize, manipulate, and censor intelligence,” as Yahoo News reports.
The whistleblower’s name is included in the documents, including the 22-page complaint Chairman Schiff released. Brian Murphy was the Principal Deputy Under Secretary at the Dept. of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis.
Murphy said DHS chief Chad Wolf “told him ‘that these instructions specifically originated from White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien,'” according to The Post.
One of the more disturbing allegations reads:
“In mid-May 2020, Mr. Wolf instructed Mr. Murphy to cease providing intelligence assessments on the threat of Russian interference in the United States, and instead start reporting on interference activities by China and Iran. Mr. Wolf stated that these instructions specifically originated from White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien. Mr. Murphy informed Mr. Wolf he would not comply with these instructions, as doing so would put the country in substantial and specific danger.”
The Daily Beast’s Sam Stein calls it “a red siren revelation.”
This whistleblower complaint is arguably as big a story as the Woodward book, in that it details existing efforts to downplay and manipulate real time threats in order to suit Trump’s preferred political narratives.
— Sam Stein (@samstein) September 9, 2020
The complaint alleges Murphy “was retaliatorily demoted to the role of Assistant to the Deputy Under Secretary for the DHS Management Division.” His responsibilities included “Counterterrorism, Cyber, Transnational Organized Crime, Counterintelligence, Economic Security, Support to State and Local Officials, and Training.”
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.
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