- From the coronavirus to Russian electoral interference, the president keeps trying to paper over problems instead of addressing them.
When a seasoned staffer named Brian Murphy brought warnings of Russian interference in the 2020 election, his lawyers say, acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf acted decisively.
“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,” according to a whistleblower filing. “Mr. Wolf stated that these instructions specifically originated from White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien.”
When Murphy persisted, Wolf repeated that such information “made the president look bad” and told him to hold it. When he still didn’t stop, Wolf demoted him.
Murphy’s allegations have not been independently substantiated, though they were delivered under penalty of perjury. When Murphy was reassigned in July, he was blamed for DHS’s collecting information on reporters, though he insists he was not at fault. (He also claims that Wolf admitted there was no merit to the claims.) His account does, however, match what happened next: The administration publicized activities by China and Iran, though officials said they were not equivalent to Russia’s more sweeping work.