Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sept. 1. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The House and Senate Intelligence Committees are investigating the Department of Homeland Security based on a former senior officials' whistleblower complaint that he was told to stop giving assessments on threats of Russian interference in the U.S. because it "made the president look bad," lawmakers announced Friday.

Why it matters: The National Counterintelligence and Security Center has concluded that Russia is seeking to undermine Joe Biden's campaign and the Democratic Party, while supporting President Trump's candidacy.

  • DHS warned law enforcement last week that it believes Russian-controlled social media trolls and state media are likely to continue trying to sow distrust in U.S. election results and mail-in ballots.
  • Russian hackers have consistently targeted Republican and Democrat consultants, political advocacy groups and national party organizations affiliated with the 2020 election since September of last year, Microsoft said in a blog post on Thursday.

Driving the news: The whistleblower, intelligence and analysis acting undersecretary Brian Murphy, alleged that he was told to report instead on interference activities by China and Iran, which have also been identified as pressing threats for election interference.

  • Murphy is also involved in the House committees' existing investigation into the DHS. The agency reassigned him after his office analyzed communications between Portland protesters and supplied law enforcement with lists of journalists that had published leaked agency documents, the Washington Post first reported.

What they're saying: "The misconduct and abuses detailed in the complaint occurred as early as 2018, continued through this year, and have been longstanding subjects of Committee oversight," Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said in a statement on Friday.

  • "These allegations, if true, raise serious concerns about a potential disregard for the objectivity and impartiality of intelligence analysis," Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) said in a letter to the agency on Friday.

Read Schiff's letter.

Go deeper

Homeland Security chief defies House subpoena to testify

Chad Wolf. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf defied a subpoena on Thursday to testify before the House Homeland Security Committee about worldwide threats to the U.S.

The big picture: The committee subpoenaed Wolf after he reneged on a commitment to testify on Sept. 8 and claimed it would be inappropriate to do so until he has been confirmed by the Senate.

Senate Republicans reject Trump claim that election results may "never" be known

Sen. Marco Rubio speaking with reporters in July. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Multiple Senate Republicans on Thursday disavowed President Trump's claim that the results of the 2020 election may remain unknown indefinitely, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Twitter flagged a tweet of the president's on Thursday as a potentially misleading statement after he said without evidence that because of mail-in ballots: "the Nov 3rd Election result may NEVER BE ACCURATELY DETERMINED, which is what some want."

FBI director confirms "very, very active" Russian efforts to interfere in election

FBI Director Chris Wray on Thursday told Congress the bureau has seen "very active efforts by the Russians to influence our election in 2020," primarily to "denigrate Vice President Biden and what the Russians see as kind of an anti-Russian establishment."

Why it matters: It confirms previous statements from various intelligence officials about Russia's interference activities, which continue with less than 50 days until the election.