The New York Times reports:
Top officials with the Department of Homeland Security directed agency analysts to downplay the threat of violent white supremacy and of Russian election interference, according to a whistle-blower complaint filed by a top intelligence official with the department.
Brian Murphy, the former head of the intelligence branch of the Homeland Security Department, said in a whistle-blower complaint filed on Tuesday that he was directed by Chad F. Wolf, the acting secretary of the department, to stop producing assessments on Russian interference.
The department’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.
Advance knowledge of the above report may have precipitated the speech made just now by Wolf as noted in the report below.
President Donald Trump’s acting homeland security chief on Wednesday acknowledged that white supremacist extremists played a role in this year’s urban violence in the United States, a revision of the administration’s public descriptions of the political motivations of violent protesters.
In what was billed as a “2020 State of the Homeland” speech, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf initially attributed violence in Portland, Oregon in particular to “violent opportunists” and went on to describe how protesters had attacked federal officers with sledge-hammers, pipes, fireworks, homemade bombs and other weapons.
Wolf also attributed violence to both “white supremacist extremists” and “anarchist extremists,” mentioning white supremacists first, in a speech livestreamed on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) website.
“Wolf and Cuccinelli also tried to alter a report to downplay the threat posed by White supremacists and instead emphasize the role of leftist groups due to concerns about how the initial language would reflect on the President.” https://t.co/n9fYo2J9qz
— Ana Kasparian (@AnaKasparian) September 9, 2020
Murphy also alleges that two months earlier, Wolf told him to stop producing intelligence assessments on Russia and shift the focus on election interference to China and Iran. He said “that these instructions specifically originated from White House https://t.co/Wus6NEnwY4
— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) September 9, 2020