The Department of Homeland Security stopped the publication of a July 9 intelligence document that warned against a Russian campaign against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. According to Brian Murphy, the former head of the D.H.S.’s intelligence branch, said that he was told by Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the department, that the report should be “held” because it “made the President look bad.” Later, the report was leaked to the media by unknown sources.

Murphy stated that the analysis in the leaked document attempted to “place the actions of Russia on par with those of Iran and China in a manner that is misleading and inconsistent with the actual intelligence data.”

The document, titled “Russia Likely to Denigrate Health of U.S. Candidates to Influence 2020 Election,” was supposed to be sent to local and state law enforcement to warn them that Russian media agencies were spreading negative allegations about Biden’s mental health. It was submitted on July 7 and set to be published on July 9. While Wolf claims that the release of this document was stalled because of its quality, calling it a “very poorly written report,” experts say that this move was unusual.

Miles Taylor, former chief of staff for the Department of Homeland Security, told CNN that “we had instances like this happen, where the White House didn’t want us to talk about Russian election interference, and we had to go around the White House to do it anyway.”


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Murphy was demoted from his post in August. He says in a formal complaint that the reason for his demotion was because it would be “politically good for Mr. Wolf,” who aspired to be the official D.H.S. Secretary. Murphy currently serves as the assistant to the deputy under secretary for the D.H.S. Management Division.

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