Earlier this month, FBI Director Christopher Wray said in public testimony that Russia was meddling in the 2020 election. Americans who are paying attention are wondering why President Trump would fire Acting Director of National Intelligence Admiral Joseph Maquire for defending a subordinate who briefed Congress on the same thing. Maguire’s aide, Shelby Pierson, who heads the DNI’s election security unit, told the House Intelligence Committee last week that it was the consensus assessment of the CIA, National Security Agency, and FBI that Russian hackers aren’t just meddling in this year’s U.S. elections, they’re trying to help Trump win re-election, two officials familiar with the testimony tell TIME.
Apparently President Trump was upset that Maguire had allowed Pierson to brief members of the House Intelligence Committee on what officials at the three agencies assess is an ongoing Russian effort to meddle in the 2020 presidential election in an effort to help Trump. The Russians are also meddling in Congressional races, aiding some Republican candidates and targeting some Democratic ones, the officials say. “The Russians understand our system, and they know that the President needs the Senate to remain in friendly hands in order to carry out his agenda,” one of the officials said.
Trump’s reaction to hard truths is not exactly new. Over three years, he has repeatedly rejected intelligence findings about Russian political hacking, instead accepting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim the Russia has not interfered in U.S. elections and blaming Ukraine for the hacking. And Russian election meddling is not the only area where Trump doesn’t want to hear the conclusions of his top spies. For weeks now, officials in the country’s intelligence agencies, and in oversight committees on Capitol Hill, have been trying to determine fate of the intelligence community’s annual Worldwide Threat Assessment.
The Russians’ hacks and attacks, another U.S. intelligence official said, change in ways that suggest that the GRU and FSB, Russia’s foreign intelligence agency, are following the Democratic primary race “very closely”. “Their targets keep shifting,” the official said. After firing Maguire, Trump temporarily named a loyalist, U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, as acting DNI while he attempts to find a replacement for the job.
U.S. Government stability.
There are always scandals and legal actions occurring in Washington D.C., but recently many Americans who do not support the current President are wondering how the government will remain stable in lieu of his many intrusions into other departments of the United States. Recent examples include the impeachment acquittal, the Roger Stone case and a long list of pardons, leaving people to wonder if one man is wielding too much power biased in special interests. As the 2020 election plays out, the electoral processes will need to be monitored and undertaken in an organized precise manner that involves transparency and ethical actions by all members of the government.