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Chairman Thompson Statement on Trump’s Selection of Richard Grenell as Acting Director of National Intelligence

February 20, 2020

February 20, 2020 (WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement on President Trump’s selection of Richard Grenell as Acting Director of National Intelligence:

“The position of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) was created after the September 11 attacks to break down stovepipes within the Intelligence Community (IC) to prevent future attacks.  The last two Senate-confirmed DNIs were forthright about the risk of interference in U.S. elections.  In 2016, then-DNI James Clapper brought Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential election to light.  Last year, his successor, Dan Coats, warned about election interference by Russia, China, Iran and other adversaries in 2020.  With the Presidential election looming large, we need to have a DNI in place who will provide unvarnished intelligence and assessments to the President about the threats we face.”  Chairman Thompson continued, “I am gravely concerned by the selection of Richard Grenell, an individual who not only lacks substantive IC experience but, by all accounts, rose to prominence in the Trump Administration because of his personal devotion to Donald Trump and penchant for trolling the President’s perceived enemies on Twitter as the Acting DNI at this critical time.”

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