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 John TrumpTrump fires intelligence community inspector general who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaint Trump organization has laid off over 1000 employees due to pandemic: report Trump invokes Defense Production Act to prevent export of surgical masks, gloves 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 MaguireTrump fires intelligence community inspector general who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaint Former intelligence chiefs slam Trump for removing officials Acting director of National Counterterrorism Center fired: report 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 SchiffTrump fires intelligence community inspector general who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaint Hannity blasts criticism of Fox News: 'I have taken this seriously' Pelosi forms House committee to oversee coronavirus response 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 SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats press Trump, GOP for funding for mail-in ballots Schumer doubles down in call for Trump to name coronavirus supply czar Trump lashes out at Schumer over call for supply czar 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 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 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 Burr2020 on my mind: Democrats have to think like Mitch McConnell Loeffler traded .4M in stocks as Congress responded to coronavirus pandemic Before this pandemic ends, intel agencies should prepare for a world of threats MORE (R-N.C.) declined to comment on the Times story. Burr, along with Committee Vice Chair Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerTrump fires intelligence community inspector general who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaint Hillicon Valley: Thousands of Zoom recordings exposed online | Google shares location data to counter virus | Dem senator pushes jobless benefits for gig workers | Twitter takes down 20,000 fake accounts Democrat presses Trump administration on jobless benefits for gig workers 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.
 
 
"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.