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Joe Biden: DHS withheld intelligence revealing Russia's attempt to spread misinformation about former VP
The intelligence community has long warned of foreign interference in the upcoming US elections, confirming suspicions of Russia’s manipulation of the 2016 elections that led to Trump winning the presidency. Now, it was revealed that the Department of Homeland Security has withheld intelligence revealing an attempt by Russia to spread misinformation about former vice president Joe Biden.
First obtained by ABC News, the draft of a report titled “Russia Likely to Denigrate Health of US Candidates to Influence 2020 Election” revealed that Russia will most likely continue attempting to undermine the presidential candidates, among them being Biden, with allegations pertaining to their health. The intelligence bulletin also reveals attempts by China and Iran to rip into Donald Trump. Following the reports being made public, acting Secretary for Homeland Security Chad Wolf stated that the department is currently revising the reports.
The bulletin was first brought to the attention of Homeland Security’s legislative and public affairs office for review back on July 7. It was to be distributed among federal, state, and local law enforcement except for the public two days later on July 9. Emails have also revealed that DHS Chief of Staff John Gountanis prevented the report from being disseminated.
The Biden campaign issued a statement from spokesman Andrew Bates regarding the bulletin. “We now know far more about the lengths to which Donald Trump will go to manipulate and conceal intelligence for partisan political purposes and to strip our country of its defenses against foreign attacks on our democracy. He is blocking the intelligence community from sharing with federal and state law enforcement a crucial finding: that Russia is disseminating scurrilous attacks on the health of Joe Biden -- one that aligns with Trump’s own constantly-backfiring attacks,” said Bates.
Meanwhile, Biden and his wife, former second lady Jill Biden, traveled to Kenosha, Wisconsin to meet with the family of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot several times in the back by a police officer. The former vice president has received a lot of requests from fellow Democratic leaders to visit the city where the ongoing protests have escalated onto violence.
Biden’s visit to Kenosha comes two days after Trump visited the state. Trump met with law enforcement officials but did not meet with Blake’s family.