A just-retired Department of Homeland Security official who filed a whistleblower complaint last year ticked off the dangerous ways Donald Trump “politicized” DHS and why it would be a “disaster” if he ever returned to the White House.
Brian Murphy said Trump allies Chad Wolf, then acting head of DHS, and his deputy Ken Cuccinelli downplayed the Kremlin’s support for Trump and its attempted interference in the 2020 election, along with the mounting danger of white supremacy in the U.S.
At the same time, department officials inflated the problems along the Mexican border to back Trump’s messaging, added Murphy, a Republican who voted for Trump in 2016.
Murphy, who was principal deputy undersecretary in the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis before he left his job Friday, told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that he was under “intense pressure” at work to “take intelligence and fit a political narrative.”
Rather than using real intelligence to keep the nation safe, administration officials demanded that information be manipulated to make Trump look better and to support his electioneering.
“When I got to DHS [in 2018], it was all about politics,” Murphy noted. DHS was expected to lie about “anything that made the president look bad,” Murphy told CNN on Monday.
Murphy said another Trump presidential run would be a “disaster.”
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 said.
Murphy filed a whistleblower complaint outlining his concerns a year ago. The ABC interview was the first time he spoke publicly about his complaint. He also talked to CNN on Monday.
For the 2020 presidential election, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved efforts to “denigrate the Democratic candidates” in order to aid Trump, according to an intelligence report early last year, Murphy pointed out. Putin also authorized a campaign “undermining public confidence in the electoral process and exacerbating sociopolitical divisions in the U.S.” — something that Trump and his supporters are also doing.
DHS also fabricated the dangers along the southern U.S. border to fuel support for Trump’s border wall, Murphy said.
He said that any discussion about the rising threat of white supremacy became an avoided “third rail” at the Department of Homeland Security after the murder of counterprotester Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 12, 2017, by a “Unite the Right” supporter who espoused neo-Nazi and supremacist beliefs.
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