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Politics Trump dismisses intelligence official’s assessment of Russian preference for him as Democratic ‘hoax’

19:15  21 february  2020
19:15  21 february  2020 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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dismisses intelligence official ’ s assessment of Russian preference for him as Democratic ‘ hoax ’. President Trump on Friday dismissed the assessment of a senior U.S. intelligence official that Some lawmakers said they did not think that Russia would have such a preference for Trump

BREAKING NEWS: Donald Trump calls revelation that intelligence officials told Congress Russia Donald Trump dismissed a report claiming his former acting Director of National Intelligence told Hoax number 7!' Trump lamented on Twitter Friday morning. The president' s comments come after

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President Trump on Friday dismissed the assessment of a senior U.S. intelligence official that Russia wants to see him reelected as a “misinformation campaign” being driven by Democrats, as fallout continued from a classified congressional briefing last week.

“Another misinformation campaign is being launched by Democrats in Congress saying that Russia prefers me to any of the Do Nothing Democrat candidates who still have been unable to, after two weeks, count their votes in Iowa,” Trump tweeted, referencing the delays this month in tabulating the results of the nation’s first presidential nominating contest.

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A national security official in the Trump administration told CNN that Pierson may have mischaracterized the intelligence that Russia has developed a preference for Trump . Repeated dismissals of Russian threat. Trump has repeatedly downplayed Russia ' s efforts to interfere in US

Tweeting on Friday, Trump slammed the latest reports as a misinformation campaign he said was “being launched by Democrats in Congress.” The party, he said, were claiming that Russia preferred him over “any of the Do Nothing Democrat candidates who still have been unable to, after two weeks

“Hoax number 7!” Trump added, suggesting that reports about the congressional briefing were akin to investigations of his campaign’s possible coordination with Russia in the 2016 election and his conduct toward Ukraine that led to his impeachment by the House and ultimate acquittal by the Senate.

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Shelby Pierson, the intelligence community’s election threats executive, participated in a classified briefing on election security last week for the House Intelligence Committee.

Pierson told the lawmakers — Democrats and Republicans — that according to the intelligence gathered by U.S. agencies, Russia had “developed a preference” for Trump in 2020, according to an official briefed on the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a classified briefing.

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Obama administration officials scrambled to ensure intelligence of connections between the Trump campaign and Russian officials was preserved after Separately, American intelligence agencies had intercepted communications of Russian officials , some of them within the Kremlin, discussing

The intelligence used was compiled by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Putin had a personal preference for candidate- Trump due to his advocacy of Russia -friendly Russian intelligence services gained entry into the servers of the Democratic National Committee

The problem, said the official, is that “the underlying intelligence doesn’t conclusively support that assessment.”

At the briefing, lawmakers prodded Pierson for evidence. In fact, briefers may not be as forthcoming with a full committee as they would with a more restricted audience, such as the Gang of Eight of House and Senate leadership.

Some lawmakers said they did not think that Russia would have such a preference for Trump given his administration’s provision of lethal weapons to neighboring Ukraine to defend it against Russian aggression.

In any case, Pierson’s remarks were conveyed to Trump by one of the Republicans in the room, Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), the committee’s ranking member and a staunch political ally of the president.

Following that, Trump grew angry at his acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, in the Oval Office, seeing Maguire and his staff as disloyal for speaking to Congress about Russia’s perceived preference.

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Russia ' s foreign minister dismisses allegations of tampering in the 2016 US presidential election, when asked The section of the indictment which talks of Russians contacting Trump officials describes the This is what President Trump and his allies have repeatedly called a ‘ hoax ’ and ‘fake news’.

The intelligence official’s analysis and Trump’s furious response ­ruined Maguire’s chances of becoming the permanent intelligence chief, according to people familiar with the matter who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter.

Trump announced Wednesday that he was replacing Maguire with a vocal loyalist, Richard Grenell, who is the U.S. ambassador to Germany.

a man wearing a suit and tie: President Trump delivers remarks at the White House complex last week. © Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post President Trump delivers remarks at the White House complex last week. Trump told reporters traveling with him on Air Force One on Thursday night that he was considering Rep. Douglas A. Collins (R-Ga.) as his permanent director of national intelligence — a move that Collins shot down a few hours later.

During a television appearance Friday morning, Collins said it was “humbling” to be among those considered by Trump, but he said he doesn’t want the job.

“This is not a job that interests me at this time. It’s not one that I would accept because I’m running a Senate race down here in Georgia,” Collins said on Fox Business Network during an interview in which he emphasized his longtime support for the president.

“I’m sure the president will pick somebody appropriate for that job,” Collins said of the intelligence post.

In a tweet a few hours later, Trump made no mention of Collins but emphasized others are also under consideration.

“Four great candidates are under consideration at DNI,” he wrote. “Decision within next few weeks!”

Ashley Parker contributed to this report.

Official who briefed Congress on Russia threat to remain in post .
"Ambassador Grenell has not asked me to leave," Shelby Pierson said in a statement Tuesday."Ambassador Grenell has not asked me to leave," Shelby Pierson, who serves as the intelligence community election threats executive, said in a statement Tuesday. "In fact, he has encouraged and affirmed his support for my position here in the organization. I have not asked to depart nor discussed resignation in any way.

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