Whistleblower Claims Trump National Security Adviser Ordered Intel Reports Scrubbed Of Russia Warnings, Adviser Denies
Earlier this week, the former head of the intelligence branch within the Department of Homeland Security, Brian Murphy, filed a complaint alleging top officials at the Department wanted to alter intelligence briefings to remove findings on Russia and white supremacists.
Murphy alleged this was done to appease President Donald Trump. Murphy also alleged that acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf told him that national security adviser Robert O’Brien was the one who made the order. On Wednesday, O’Brien denied the allegations, the New York Post reported.
“No, I’ve never even heard of this guy. I don’t know who he is, and it’s hearsay,” O’Brien told Fox News host Bret Baier on Wednesday. “He says he heard it from somebody else, and in polite society that’s the sort of thing that used to be frowned on. Now it gets news coverage. It’s totally false. I don’t think there’s anybody that’s been tougher on Russia in this administration than I have been or the president has been, for that matter.”
Murphy alleged that while he was told the briefings would scrub references to Russia and white supremacists, they would focus on threats from China and Iran. O’Brien on Wednesday explained that China and Iran were also threats.
“But I will tell you one thing, China is a serious threat to our elections. Iran is a serious threat to the free and fair elections here, and I certainly want reporting on not just what Russia’s doing but on what China’s doing, what Iran and other bad actors are doing,” O’Brien said. “But I’ve never heard of this guy. It’s absurd.”
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) who has been leading the fight to remove or delegitimize Trump’s presidency since the 2016 election, said he would subpoena Murphy to testify before the House Intelligence Committee later this month.
“Mr. Murphy’s allegations are serious — from senior officials suppressing intelligence reports on Russia’s election interference and making false statements to Congress about terrorism threats at our southern border, to modifying intelligence assessments to match the President’s rhetoric on Antifa and minimizing the threat posed by white supremacists,” Schiff said in a statement, the Post reported. “We have requested Mr. Murphy’s testimony before the Committee, pursuant to subpoena if necessary, alongside other already scheduled interviews with other DHS officials.”
While Schiff now welcomes Murphy’s allegations against the Trump administration, just one month ago the California Democrat accused Murphy of lying to congress.
Murphy was removed from his position at DHS on August 1 after The Washington Post reported he had compiled “intelligence reports” on two journalists alleging they had published unclassified but leaked documents about DHS’s involvement in the Portland, Oregon, riots. At the time, agents had stepped in to arrest rioters. Murphy was reassigned elsewhere in DHS.
Also on August 1, The New York Times reported that Schiff said in a statement that he had been “conducting rigorous oversight of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, including actions by Acting Undersecretary Murphy prior to his abrupt and apparent reassignment.”
“In light of recent public reports, we are concerned that Murphy may have provided incomplete and potentially misleading information to Committee staff during our recent oversight engagement,” Schiff continued.