Trump lashed out at acting DNI Maguire over alleged staff disloyalty: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCampaigns face attack ad dilemma amid coronavirus crisis Outgoing inspector general says Trump fired him for carrying out his 'legal obligations' Trump hits Illinois governor after criticism: 'I hear him complaining all the time' MORE erupted at acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Joseph MaguireJoseph MaguireDemocrats seize on Trump's firing of intelligence community watchdog Trump fires intelligence community watchdog who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaint Former intelligence chiefs slam Trump for removing officials MORE in a meeting last week over concerns about Maguire's staff's loyalty, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.

The reported incident occurred shortly before Trump announced on Wednesday Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell would take over from Maguire as the acting intelligence chief.

Trump decided against nominating Maguire for the post on a permanent basis after learning a member of his staff, Shelby Pierson, gave a classified briefing last Thursday to the House Intelligence Committee regarding election security, the newspaper reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

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The specific contents of Pierson’s briefing are unknown, but Trump appeared to believe she had given information specifically to Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTrump defends firing of intel watchdog, calling him a 'disgrace' Democrats seize on Trump's firing of intelligence community watchdog Trump fires intelligence community watchdog who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaint MORE (D-Calif.) that would be beneficial to Democrats if made public, the people familiar with the matter told the Post.

Trump was furious and held Maguire personally responsible when the two next met, the Post reported, resulting in a “dressing down” by the president and which served as “the catalyst” for Trump ultimately opting to appoint Grenell.

A committee official told the Post the briefing concerned “election security and foreign interference in the run-up to the 2020 election,” speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Members on both sides participated, including Ranking Member [Devin] Nunes [R-Calif.], and heard the exact same briefing from experts across the Intelligence Community,” the committee official said. “No special or separate briefing was provided to one side or to any single member, including the chairman.”

Pierson was initially appointed in 2019 by then-DNI Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsWe weren't ready for a pandemic — imagine a crippling cyberattack GOP presses for swift Ratcliffe confirmation to intel post Experts report recent increase in Chinese group's cyberattacks MORE, who departed the White House the same year, and had frequently disagreed with the president on the extent of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and the threat of future interference.

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.