Trump Was ‘Furious’ With Acting Spy Chief Over House Election Security Briefing
President Donald Trump reportedly decided to replace his last acting director of national intelligence after he learned the House Intelligence Committee had received a classified briefing on election security, according to RawStory.
The Washington Post first reported that Trump opted to give acting DNI Joseph Maguire the boot and replace him with loyalist Richard Grenell because be wrongly believed that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) was granted exclusive information.
Trump has railed against Schiff for his role in the impeachment inquiry and insisted that the congressman is corrupt.
Shelby Pierson, the top intelligence official on election security, gave the briefing to the entire committee, sources told The Post, and no special or secret information was given directly to Schiff or any other member.
“It’s unclear what the official, Shelby Pierson, specifically said at the briefing that angered Trump,” The Post reported. “But the president erroneously believed that she had given information exclusively to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the committee chairman, and it would be helpful to Democrats if released publicly.”
One committee official told the newspaper that everyone — Democrats and Republicans — had access to the same information.
“Members on both sides participated, including Ranking Member Nunes, and heard the exact same briefing from experts across the Intelligence Community,” the official said. “No special or separate briefing was provided to one side or to any single member, including the chairman.”
Regardless, Trump reportedly gave Maguire a “a dressing down” in the Oval Office, one official said, adding that this “was the catalyst” for replacing the acting DNI with Grenell.
Prior to the incident, White House aides believed Maguire to be a leading candidate for nomination to the position.
The Post reported that aides also said Trump is focused on “officials who are allegedly disloyal to him, particularly at the Justice Department, the National Security Council, the Pentagon and the State Department.”