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DHS Whistleblower Claims He Was Ordered to Downplay Risks of White Supremacists

HeadlineSep 10, 2020

A Department of Homeland Security whistleblower has accused the agency’s leadership of instructing analysts to downplay the violent threat posed by white supremacists and Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2020 election. The explosive allegation comes in a whistleblower complaint filed by Brian Murphy, the former head of the Homeland Security Department’s intelligence branch. Murphy says acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf personally instructed him to stop providing intelligence assessments on the threat of Russian interference and instead to focus on actions by China and Iran. Murphy claims the request originated from Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien. In July, Murphy said one of his intelligence reports on Russia was held because it “made the president look bad.”

Murphy also said he had been ordered to alter the text of assessments to make the threat of white supremacy “appear less severe.” Earlier this year, DHS drafted a document stating that “white supremacist extremists will remain the most persistent and lethal threat in the Homeland through 2021.” But in newer versions of the document, the reference to white supremacists was removed. Murphy also claims leaders at DHS pressured analysts to change assessments to match up to comments made by President Trump attacking anti-fascist groups.

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