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Intel officials warned House lawmakers Russia is interfering to get Trump reelected: NYT

Intelligence officials warned House lawmakers last week that Russia is interfering in the 2020 campaign to get President TrumpDonald TrumpIran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries Pardon-seekers have paid Trump allies tens of thousands to lobby president: NYT MORE reelected, The New York Times reported Thursday.

The Feb. 13 briefing by top election security officials at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to the House Intelligence Committee reportedly prompted Trump to berate now-former acting 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, accusing him of disloyalty for allowing the briefing.

Trump reportedly worried Democrats would use the intelligence information against him, particularly citing concerns with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffAngus King warns of 'grave danger' of Trump revealing classified information Schiff says 'massive intelligence and security failure' led to Capitol breach Sunday shows - Capital locked down ahead of Biden's inauguration MORE (Calif.), one of the Democrats who led the impeachment investigation against him, being present during the briefing.

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Maguire is now set to step down as acting DNI. He will be replaced by U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell. Trump thanked Maguire for his service on Wednesday in announcing the change, tweeting “we look forward to working with him closely, perhaps in another capacity within the Administration!”

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and a spokesperson for Schiff did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Times report.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerCowboys for Trump founder arrested following Capitol riot Graham calls on Schumer to hold vote to dismiss article of impeachment against Trump Biden and the new Congress must protect Americans from utility shutoffs MORE (D-N.Y.) tweeted Thursday that "now we know why" Republicans in the Senate continue blocking election security bills, linking to the New York Times article.
 
"They'd rather let Putin win then stand up to President Trump," he tweeted.
 
Senate Republicans have repeatedly blocked bills designed to bolster election security, citing concerns around federalizing elections. But Republicans supported the inclusion of 
$425 million in an appropriations bill, later signed into law, to help states boost election security efforts.

The Washington Post reported earlier Thursday that Shelby Pierson, the principal adviser at ODNI for election security and the intelligence community’s Election Threats Executive, led last week's congressional briefing.

Pierson was appointed by former DNI Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsSenate Intelligence Committee leaders warn of Chinese threats to national security New federal cybersecurity lead says 'rumor control' site will remain up through January Biden soars as leader of the free world MORE in 2019. Coats left the administration that same year after disagreements with Trump over issues including election security.

Pierson told NPR last month that she was concerned about interference in the 2020 elections from multiple nations.

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"This isn't a Russia-only problem," Pierson said on "Morning Edition."

"We're still also concerned about China, Iran, non-state actors, 'hacktivists.' And frankly ... even Americans might be looking to undermine confidence in the elections," Pierson added.

A spokesperson for Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrOfficials discussing 25th Amendment for Trump following violence at Capitol GOP senator says Trump 'bears responsibility' for Capitol riot Republican infighting on election intensifies MORE (R-N.C.) declined to comment on the Times story. Burr, along with Committee Vice Chair Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSocial media posts, cellphone data aid law enforcement investigations into riots 'Almost Heaven, West Virginia' — Joe Manchin and a 50-50 Senate Confirmation hearing for Biden's DNI pick postponed MORE (D-Va.), led a years-long bipartisan investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, with three reports from this investigation released so far, and two more to come.

Warner on Wednesday expressed outrage at the selection of Grenell as acting DNI, pointing to his lack of experience in intelligence issues.
 
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonNew coalition aims to combat growing wave of ransomware attacks Acting DHS chief Chad Wolf stepping down Security boosted for lawmakers' travel around inauguration: report MORE (D-Miss.) on Thursday said Trump "has been in denial about foreign election interference for three years because his ego cannot accept that Russia interfered on his behalf."
 
"By firing Acting DNI Maguire because his staff provided the candid conclusions of the Intelligence Community to Congress regarding Russian meddling in the 2020 Presidential election, the President is not only refusing to defend against foreign interference, he’s inviting it," Thompson said in a statement.
 
Updated at 6:13 p.m.