Feb 21, 2020 - Politics & Policy

House warned of Russian effort to re-elect Trump

President Trump shakes Russian President Vladimir Putin's hand
Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Trump meet at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, last June. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

The nation's top election-security official warned the House Intelligence Committee last week that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election to help President Trump get re-elected, continuing to attempt to sow discord among the American electorate, the AP reports.

Why it matters: The warning raises questions about the integrity of the presidential campaign and whether Trump's administration is taking the proper steps to combat the kind of interference that the U.S. saw in 2016.

  • A senior administration official told the AP that the briefing, first reported by the New York Times and Washington Post, infuriated Trump, who has pushed back on assertions that Russia backed his candidacy in 2016 throughout his presidency.
  • The president was especially angered by the fact that the briefing took place before House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who was the lead House impeachment manager during Trump's impeachment inquiry.

The state of play: The aftermath of the briefing, led by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence's Shelby Pierson, raises questions about the future of that office's relationship with the legislative branch — as it will now be led by Trump loyalist, and ambassador to Germany, Ric Grenell in an acting capacity, despite the fact that he has never worked for an intelligence agency.

Go deeper: Russia has already won the fight to undermine U.S. elections

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