Published: Fri, February 21, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Russian Federation meddling to help Trump win re-election, USA lawmakers hear

Russian Federation meddling to help Trump win re-election, USA lawmakers hear

Republican lawmakers vocally objected to an intelligence briefing assessment that Russian Federation prefers President Donald Trump to win in 2020 - and Rep. Devin Nunes of California, a close Trump ally, told the President about the election meddling briefing, according to a person familiar with the matter afterward.

While the briefing's focus was reportedly on the Russian government attempting to prop up Trump, officials also revealed to lawmakers that the Kremlin has been doing the same for Vermont Sen.

Mueller concluded separately that Russian interference was "sweeping and systematic", but he did not find a criminal conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Trump, who was later acquitted by the Republican-led U.S. Senate, has also publicly called on China to probe Biden.

Though some current and former officials speculated that the briefing may have played a role in the removal of Maguire, who had told people in recent days that he believed he would remain in the job, two administration officials said the timing was coincidental. He has derided intelligence officials as part of a "deep state" of entrenched bureaucrats who seek to undermine his agenda.

The report said that according to two administration officials this briefing had nothing to do with Trump's announcement on Wednesday to replace Joseph Maguire with US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell.

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"If there was any doubt that Donald Trump values unquestioning obedience over the safety of the American people, this appointment settles the question", Wyden said.

Now that Grenell has assumed the position - albeit on a temporary basis - Democrats have decried his lack of intelligence experience, though the White House celebrated Grenell's "years of experience" working with the Intelligence Community.

In addition to feuding over the Russian interference, he's claimed that members of the intelligence community unfairly accused him of unlawfully pressuring Ukraine's president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, another central element of the impeachment drama.

"I will say this: I don't see any reason why it would be [Russia]".

After Coats resigned, Trump announced his intent to tap GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe, a former US attorney and Trump loyalist who has also defended the president throughout the House impeachment hearings and Senate trial, for DNI. Schiff has been a longtime critic of the president, and spearheaded efforts that led to Trump's impeachment in the House previous year.

Pierson said it's not just a Russian Federation problem.

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