President TrumpDonald TrumpDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz elected to Baseball Hall of Fame Overnight Health Care — Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaul MORE erupted at acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Joseph MaguireJoseph MaguireJudge dismisses Nunes's defamation suit against Washington Post Retired Navy admiral behind bin Laden raid says he voted for Biden Congressional Democrats request FBI briefing on foreign election interference efforts 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.
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 SchiffMask rules spark political games and a nasty environment in the House CIA says 'Havana syndrome' unlikely a result of 'worldwide campaign' by foreign power The Hill's Morning Report - Biden to make voting rights play in Atlanta 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 CoatsAn independent commission should review our National Defense Strategy Overnight Hillicon Valley — Scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens Former national security officials warn antitrust bills could help China in tech race 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.