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Monday, July 22, 2024

US National Intelligence takes over election security briefings from FBI

Russian analysts believe that Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has taken over the job of counter-intelligence briefings to US political campaigns and candidates from the FBI, because of Trump administration's lack of trust on FBI. However New York Times indicates that ODNI Director wanted to bring far reaching organisational changes before being replaced by Senate. Interesting Read for students of International Relations.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has reassigned the job of counter-intelligence briefings to US political campaigns and candidates from the FBI, presumably over the misconduct during the 2016 election.

Going forward, all intelligence-based threat briefings to “candidates, campaigns and political organizations” will be provided by the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, the acting head of ODNI Richard Grenell announced on Friday.

Here is a link to the official announcement by the Office Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)


FBI No longer trusted by Trump Administration? 

The announcement went almost unnoticed in Washington until pointed out by filmmaker Mike Cernovich, who said it amounted to “a polite way of saying that the FBI is no longer trusted.”

Read more: 200 days to go in US elections: Corona contends against Trump

Donald Trump Junior confirmed that interpretation, saying that the FBI and other institutions has been “corrupted at the top and need a thorough cleaning before they gain back the trust Americans once bestowed upon them.”

The change is but the latest reform Grenell has pushed through at the ODNI since he took over as acting chief in February. It follows last week’s revelations that the FBI sought to entrap President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser Michael Flynn after the 2016 election, first getting him fired from the White House and then improperly prosecuted for perjury.

Previously, the DOJ inspector-general found that the FBI sought to spy on the Trump campaign in 2016 while using counterintelligence “defensive briefings” as cover, and obtained four FISA warrants to do so based mainly on the fraudulent “pee tape” dossier compiled by British spy Christopher Steele on behalf of Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.

At the time, the FBI, CIA and the ODNI provided fuel and cover for Democrat accusations that Trump had “colluded” with Russia to win the election, which have since been shown as entirely unfounded.

Read more: Sanders warns Russia, Trump scoffs as new meddling charges hit US election

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security will still work with the intelligence community to “identify and integrate threat information,” but the task of briefing candidates and campaigns will be entrusted to NCSC Director Bill Evanina, overwhelmingly confirmed by the Senate earlier this month.

Evanina “will act swiftly to deliver the timely and thorough assessments to those affected by potential malicious influence,” the ODNI said, describing the change as an “important improvement and simplification” of the current process.

Grenell wanted to change ODNI organisation before moving out? 

However a detailed story in New York Times, by Julian Barnes and Eric Schmitt, indicates that changes Richard Grenell, a temporary appointee since February, has introduced are far reaching in the overall organisation of ODNI and the role switching of FBI is only a small part of overall organisational change. According to NYT story, (Intelligence Chief Reduces Size of Counterterrorism Office, May 15th) Grenell may have wanted to institute these changes before a permanent head of ODNI is confirmed by Senate.

Intelligence Chief Reduces Size of Counterterrorism Office

Congressman John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) has been nominated to take over as permanent ODNI director, but his Senate confirmation is still pending.

RT with additional input by GVS News Desk