Acting DNI Richard Grenell. Photo: Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell announced Friday that his office would take the lead role in election security briefings for political candidates, amid other organizational changes to the DNI's National Counterterrorism Center.

The big picture, via the New York Times: Grenell "has been racing against the clock to make changes to his office before his appointment ends and he is replaced with a Senate-confirmed official."

What they're saying: “We are facing a time in our nation’s history where the threat picture is far broader than terrorism, and the I.C. needs to shift resources to address a wide range of complex, sophisticated adversaries,” Lora Shiao, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said in a statement.

  • William R. Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, will continue to work with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security when notifying political candidates of potential threats, the agency said.

The other side: Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, released a statement Friday in response:

“Our Committee did not authorize these latest changes—announced, once again, late on a Friday—by a temporary and unqualified Acting Director of National Intelligence, nor were HPSCI or SSCI even briefed or consulted, as required by law and requested by the Committees. The Acting DNI has a legal obligation to keep the Committee fully and currently informed of these changes and failed to do so.
“NCTC was created in the wake of the September 11th attacks, and preventing another catastrophic attack remains among our nation’s most solemn obligations. Many recent former NCTC leaders expressed concerns about the potential for politicized changes to NCTC. We will therefore be reviewing these significant changes carefully, including to assess the operational impact they could have on our nation’s readiness to identify, assess, and thwart potential terrorist attacks.”

Go deeper... Scoop: Trump weighs tapping Grenell to chair intelligence advisory board

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6 states sue USPS, say changes hurt efforts to hold "free and fair elections"

U.S. Postmaster General Louis Dejoy. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Six states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against Postmaster General Louis DeJoy Friday, alleging recent changes to the U.S. Postal Service were "unlawful" and designed to impede efforts to conduct "free and fair elections."

Why it matters: DeJoy, an ally of President Trump, has come under scrutiny for implementing cost-saving measures that resulted in widespread delays and prompted fears that the USPS will not be able to handle a surge in mail-in ballots in November's election.

House passes bill to reverse U.S. Postal Service changes

Protesters hold a "Save the Post Office" demonstration outside a USPS building in Los Angeles, California, on August 22. Photo: Kyle Grillot/AFP via Getty Images

The House voted 257-150 on Saturday to give the U.S. Postal Service $25 billion and to block and reverse the operational changes that are leading to widespread mail delays. 26 Republicans supported the measure, but the bill is unlikely to move forward after a White House veto threat.

Why it matters: More Americans than ever are expected to vote by mail during the coronavirus pandemic, but on-time delivery for priority and first class mail has continued to drop since early July.

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