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.
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.”
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.”
Smart move. These institutions, and in particular the FBI, have been corrupted at the top and need a thorough cleaning before they gain back the trust Americans once bestowed upon them. https://t.co/wTEvMh2GAJ
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.
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.
Congressman John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) has been nominated to take over as permanent ODNI director, but his Senate confirmation is still pending.
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