We learned last week that the Department of Homeland Security may be restricting and even suppressing intelligence reports because “they give the president a bad image.” Brian Murphy, the former head of the intelligence branch at DHS, alleged in a whistleblower complaint that DHS acting secretary Chad Wolf told him not to release a report on a Russian effort to cast doubt on Joe Biden’s mental health. In the same complaint, Murphy claims that DHS official No. 2 separately ordered him to modify an intelligence assessment to make the white supremacist threat “appear less serious” and to include information about left-wing groups and the antifas.
We learned last week that the Department of Homeland Security may be restricting and even suppressing intelligence reports because “they give the president a bad image.”
If intelligence is suppressed or manipulated within weeks of the presidential election, American voters and local and state police departments across our country who rely on DHS intelligence could fly blindly in a rapidly developing storm.
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Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Who handled a previous whistleblower complaint from Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman that led to President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, received the whistleblower’s complaint of Murphy and promised to investigate.
As with Vindman, Trump supporters have stood up for the president. The response was swift and coordinated. Fox News host Sean Hannity tweeted: “Another Schiff show?” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio wrote: “Schiff has a new ‘whistleblower’.”
Schiffs has a new whistleblower.
Here is the kicker:
Five weeks ago, Schiff told the New York Times that the same whistleblower had previously lied to his congressional committee.
Like the #impeachment whistleblower, Schiff can’t keep his story clear.https: //t.co/ywGPBUBWAV
Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) September 10, 2020
But that has nothing to do with Schiff. There’s a reason so many whistleblowers have come forward under the Trump administration: They can’t stand the lies, waste, fraud and abuse they witness, and they can’t get any satisfaction from the channel. command of their agencies. Trump has removed or replaced inspectors general at key agencies in an apparent effort to prevent federal employees from doing the right thing for America. In just six weeks, Trump fired at least five IGs, sending a clear message. In the past 20 years, only one GI has been removed by a president.
So while the number of federal employees who feel compelled to become whistleblowers is symbolic of a bigger problem, the president’s desire to suppress and even alter the truth is just as telling. People lie and distort because it benefits them. And when you examine Brian Murphy’s complaint, you can see why the Trump administration wants to suppress the specific information it was about to release.
By all accounts, the president was the beneficiary of Russia’s attempts to increase its chances in the 2016 campaign. In particular, the recent report of the GOP-led Senate Intelligence Committee revealed that the Russian government “has embarked on an aggressive and multifaceted effort to influence or attempt to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.” In addition, the report revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered at least some of the attacks aimed at harming Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Obviously, it is in Trump’s best interests to try to suppress this truth and distort the reality that the Russians are continuing their efforts to aid in his re-election. And these are the kinds of truths Murphy says he was trying to report in his draft intelligence assessments.
Likewise, Trump is forced to distance himself from the reality that the hate-based white supremacist movement, so closely aligned with some of its worst rhetoric, poses a growing threat to our homeland security. FBI Director Christopher Wray has publicly stated that the threat of racist violence is at the same level of priority as international terrorism. But the young gunman in the tragic mass shooting at Walmart in El Paso, Texas, adopted Trump’s language in his manifesto to denounce an “invasion” of Mexico.
The president doesn’t want the public to know the seriousness of the threat because he doesn’t want to have to take the responsibility of activating and even encouraging it. As Susan Milligan recently wrote for US News, “For much of America, ‘white power’ is a racist insult. For President Donald Trump, it’s the description of his base.” It’s no wonder Trump’s lackeys in DHS ordered Murphy to change his reporting on this violent threat. No president wants to fall into the trap of guilt by association.
Ultimately, DHS’s suppression of important and precise intelligence does not happen in a vacuum, nor is it an anomaly. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence recently informed Congress that lawmakers will no longer receive in-person information about election threats.
This decision to suspend essential dialogue with our elected officials was another signal that objective reality is working against and threatening the narrative that Trump wanted. The truth can be elusive, especially when the President of the United States doesn’t want us to find it. But the truth is achievable and essential. As we try to choose our next leader, we need to base our decision on facts, not fiction, data and not illusions. With more people like Brian Murphy, we could do well.
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