Whistle-Blower: D.H.S. Downplayed Threats From Russia and White Supremacists

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WASHINGTON — 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.In so doing, the two top officials at the department — both appointees of President Trump — appeared to shape the agency’s views around Mr. Trump’s rhetoric and interests.Mr. Murphy, who was removed from his post in August after his office compiled intelligence reports on protesters and journalists in Portland, Ore., asserted in the complaint that he was retaliated against for raising concerns to superiors and cooperating with the …

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