Brian Murphy, once accused the Trump administration of politicizing intelligence
A former senior Department of Homeland Security official has claimed that President Donald Trump returning to the White House “would be a disaster” for the U.S. intelligence community.
During an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” Brian Murphy, who once accused the Trump administration of politicizing intelligence, said:
“(Former President Trump) has denigrated the intelligence community, he puts out disinformation — and that’s an existential threat to democracy, and he is one of the best at putting it out and hurting this country.”
Murphy made headlines last year after filing a whistleblower complaint accusing Trump officials of politicizing intelligence by downplaying threats.
The 2019 complaint named former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and former acting Secretary Chad Wolf as trying to “censor or manipulate” intelligence bulletin linked to alleged Russian meddling in the presidential election.
“I became a whistleblower because when I arrived at DHS in 2018, from the outset, everything that I had stood for — you know, finding objective truth when I was in the FBI and serving in the Marines and serving the American public — was quickly told to me that’s no longer acceptable,” Murphy said.
Murphy also Nielsen, Wolf, and other top officials of gathering intelligence reports that aligned with Trump’s public remarks.
“There was intense pressure to try to take intelligence and fit a political narrative,” Murphy said Sunday.
“When I got to DHS, it was all about politics.”
Murphy wrote in his complaint that he was “instructed” by Wolf “to cease providing intelligence assessments on the threat of Russian interference in the United States, and instead start reporting on interference activities by China and Iran.”
Murphy added there was a push-on across government at the senior levels — cabinet officials — to do everything possible to stifle anything about Russia’s interference.
“They did not want the American public to know that the Russians were supporting Trump and denigrating what would soon be President Biden,” Murphy added.
Murphy said that discussing white supremacy as a national security threat due to a third-rail issue” within the department after the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“I disagreed with that; I made that known to my superiors,” Murphy said Sunday.
A DHS spokesperson last year said the agency “flatly denies that there is any truth to the merits of Mr. Murphy’s claim.”
Just before his whistleblower complaint, Murphy was reassigned within the department after it was revealed that his intelligence unit had included tweets from reporters in bulletins disseminated to law enforcement networks across the U.S.
Murphy added that “at no time was I aware or direct anybody in my organization to collect information on journalists.”
“People did not trust (the Trump administration). There was a war against the media, and I wasn’t going to be a part of that,” Murphy said.