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Nat'l Security Adviser: Russia's Not Trying to Help Trump Win

Robert O'Brien denies report that Moscow is working to throw the 2020 election
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 23, 2020 5:30 AM CST

(Newser) – There's no indication that Russia has its fingers in the 2020 election or is working to get the president re-elected, says a top Trump official. “The national security adviser gets pretty good access to our intelligence," National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien told ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday. “I haven't seen any intelligence that Russia is doing anything to attempt to get President Trump re-elected.” O'Brien's comment came after he was asked about reports that an intelligence professional told members of the House intelligence committee that it was Russia's aim to favor Trump in the election. Some officials familiar with the classified briefing said lawmakers were told that Russia was taking steps that would help Trump. And Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders said Friday that he was briefed last month by officials about Russian efforts to boost his candidacy.

A senior intelligence official with knowledge about the briefing, however, told the AP on Friday that the handful of US election security briefers did not tell House intelligence committee members that Russia was "aiding the re-election of President Trump." The official said some lawmakers reached conclusions that had not been made by the briefers. “All I know is that the Republicans ... were unhappy with the hearing and said that there was no intelligence to back up what was being said,” O'Brien said. "I don't even know if what's been reported as being said (by the briefers) is true.” O'Brien also denied reports that Trump became angry about the briefing and replaced former acting national intelligence director Joseph Maguire with current US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell. O'Brien said Trump was not angry with Maguire and would have liked Maguire to stay in a different role.

(Read more Robert O'Brien stories.)

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