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Whistleblower complaint: DHS official told to downplay Russian election threat


An official with the Department of Homeland Security filed a whistleblower complaint claiming he was told to downplay Russian efforts to meddle in the 2020 election, according to the complaint.

The report filed by the DHS Inspector General's office states retaliatory actions were taken against senior official Brian Murphy. It states Murphy was previously the Principal Deputy Under Secretary in the Office of Intelligence and Analysis and held the position from March of 2018 to July 31, 2020.

Murphy stated he was told to stand down on reporting the Russian threat on two separate occasions.

The report states on July, 8, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told Murphy that he should hold an "intelligence notification" on Russian election activity because it “made the President look bad.”

In response, Mr. Wolf took steps to exclude Mr. Murphy from relevant future meetings on the subject. The draft product was eventually completed without Mr. Murphy’s involvement and was made public in a leak to the media by unknown individuals.

IG Report

According to the report, it was Murphy's assessment that the leaked "completed draft" attempted to place "the actions of Russia on par with
those of Iran and China in a manner that is misleading and inconsistent with the actual intelligence data."

Murphy also alleges Wolf told him two months earlier to stop creating intelligence assessments regarding Russia and shift the focus to two other countries.

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.

IG Report

The reports states Murphy was demoted effective Aug. 1. He believes the demotion was retaliatory.

You can read the full IG report here.

Travis Sloan

Group Social Media and Digital Content Manager for Quincy Media, Inc.

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