DHS whistleblower says he was told to stop providing Russia intelligence analysis, downplay threat of white supremacy

Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf speaks during a press conference on the actions taken by Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security agents in Portland during continued prote
(Image credit: Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

A Department of Homeland Security whistleblower has laid out what his attorney describes as "serious allegations of misconduct" by DHS leadership, The Washington Post reports.

Brian Murphy, a senior official who formerly was in charge of intelligence and analysis at DHS, alleges in a new whistleblower complaint obtained by the Post that in May 2020, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf told him to "cease providing intelligence assessments on the threat of Russian interference in the United States," and that in July, Wolf told him that an "intelligence notification" on Russian disinformation efforts "should be 'held' because it 'made the president look bad.'"

Murphy "objected" to this instruction, saying that it's "improper to hold a vetted intelligence product for reasons for political embarrassment," according to the complaint. The complaint also says that when he was told to stop providing intelligence assessments on Russian interference, Murphy said he wouldn't comply because doing so would "put the country in substantial and specific danger."

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Additionally, Murphy alleges that Wolf and Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Ken Cuccinelli instructed officials to change intelligence assessments to align with Trump's rhetoric, CNN reports. The complaint alleges that Cuccinelli told him to edit an assessment's "section on white supremacy" to make "the threat appear less severe" and to "include information on the prominence of violent 'left-wing' groups." Murphy says he didn't make the modifications.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) in a statement to the Post described the allegations from Murphy as "grave and disturbing," and the House Intelligence Committee has reportedly asked him to testify.

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.