Trump misrepresents 2020 Russia briefing as Democratic "misinformation"
President Trump said in a Friday tweet that a briefing by a top election-security official before the House Intelligence Committee last week on Russia's attempts to interfere in the 2020 election was a "misinformation campaign ... launched by Democrats in Congress."
Why it matters: Trump, who was reportedly infuriated by the event, has made moves in recent days to ensure that administration jobs are held by those loyal to him — notably at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which led the briefing despite Trump's assertion that it was headed by congressional Democrats.
- Trump was especially displeased that it took place before House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who was the lead House impeachment manager during Trump's impeachment inquiry.
What Trump said: "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. Hoax number 7!"
The state of play: The ODNI 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.
- And Trump has empowered Johnny McEntee, the head of the presidential personnel office and someone the president considers an absolute loyalist, to purge the "bad people" and "Deep State," as reported by Axios' Jonathan Swan and Alayna Treene.
- Several people tied to the impeachment inquiry, including Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, were also fired in its aftermath.