Much to the chagrin of President Trump and his national security advisor, the U.S. intelligence community’s top election security official overstated the intelligence community’s formal assessment of possible Russian interference in the upcoming 2020 election. At this time, it is not known of her intent, but the officials omitted an important nuance during the secret briefing provided to selected Congressional lawmakers earlier this month.  

The official, Ms. Shelby Pierson, who worked out of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, where she was a senior official, told the lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee, including Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election with the goal of helping President Donald Trump get re-elected. Ms. Pierson further elaborated that the U.S. intelligence community has assessed that indications were that Russia is currently interfering in the 2020 election and has separately assessed that Russia views President Trump as a leader they can work with. 

According to, three national security officials, the information that was presented by Ms. Pierson to the Congressional member is totally false, totally out of context and depending on her intent, is an outright lie.

They indicated that in fact, the U.S. does not have any intelligence evidence indicating at this time that Russia’s interference this cycle is aimed at the 2020 Election, nor is there any information what-so-ever that Russia’s intent and plan is specifically targeted at re-electing President Trump.

At this time in fact, the closest information that the U.S. possess on the Russians intent about the U.S. 2020 election does not indicate any of that at put forth by Ms. Pierson. Clearly, the current intelligence doesn’t say that at all. In fact, there is the likelihood that the Russians, including Putin understand that a more reasonable interpretation of any intelligence that exists is that the most current intelligence indicates that at this time, the Russians don’t have a preference, suggesting a significant candidate which is a step short of what Ms. Pierson provided to the House Intelligence Committee. 

For the Russians, it’s more likely that they understand that the President is someone they can at least work with based purely on President Trump’s public statements about both Russian and Vladimir Putin. Further, Putin also understands that – mainly because he knows that President Trump is a dealmaker. He also knows that President Trump in fact is a an extremely tough deal maker and plays hardball at multiple levels. Thirdly they know that Trump will sit down and talk with any leader no matter how maniacal that leader is or how weak a world leader is. They also know that Donald Trump will not hesitate to call a head of state out, if he must.

More importantly, it is extremely important to understand the critical impact of Ms. Pierson’s characterization of Russian interference. My take is that it was deliberate and intentional. In fact, it was quite similar to that of the bullshit spewed by Lt. Col Alexander Vindman, his deceptive lie to the members of Congress led to pointed questions from those lawmakers, who took his lies serious and used them against Mr. Trump. Several national security officials went on to say that as a result, their comments caused Ms. Pierson to further overstep and assert that Russia in fact prefers Mr. Trump to be re-elected.

This situation angered many in the national security community, so much so that one intelligence official said that Ms. Pierson’s characterization of the intelligence was “misleading and deceptive”. Likewise, a second national security official said Ms. Pierson failed to provide any clarifying “nuance” needed to accurately convey the U.S. intelligence conclusions that she was attempting to present as fact. My immediate concern was here we go again, is this person an anti-Trump operative as was Vindman and others who have corroborated with the House Intelligence Committee. My second concern dealt what was her ties to Schiff.  To that end, my third issues was Ms. Pierson was attempting to give Democrat members of the Intelligence Committee and Democrat Congressional leadership ammunition to once again attempt to harm President Trump politically. Even to the point that it once again appeared they were going to resurrect and play the “Russia Election Interference and the Russia Collusion card” again.

Everyone must also understand that President Trump has been periodically briefed on Russian interference in the 2020 election and has never been told of any such activity or involvement to date by Russia. The President was extremely angered and upset when he learned of Ms. Pierson first briefed the Intelligence Committee before he was briefed, as well as her characterization of the intelligence she provided – particularly in part because intelligence officials who had brief the President had not characterized or provided any indications of interference as being explicitly pro-Trump. A national security official noted that concern of the President’s, and I certainly as a former senior intelligence community member concur that Russia’s only clear aim, certainly as of now, is to sow discord in the United States. That position transcends history and there is historical precedence and evidence that it has been a critical strategic factor in Soviet/Russian Active Measures” (propaganda) campaigns that have been in effect for “the last 75-100 years. 

Further, even after over three-years of investigation of the Democrat’s Russia Collusion scandal, there was never any indication that Russia significantly interfered in the 2016 election, specifically with the aim of helping Donald Trump get elected. Nor was there any damaging evidence that then Democrat Party nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign was impacted or effected at all by the Russian’s efforts. 

All investigations from multiple U.S. Government agencies suggest and clearly concluded in post-election analysis and assessments that there was any indication that either Putin or the Russian government had developed a clear preference for Donald Trump.

Russia’s only clear aim is to once again sow discord in the U.S., at this time there is no indication that the Russians are planning to interfere in the 2020 election or want President Trump to win in November.

Since becoming President, Mr. Trump has consistently questioned any such intelligence assessments, including during a news conference in 2018 alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin the question of Russian interference. One must understand that this President is strategic, cunning and unconventional with regard to his strategic political insights. Likewise, he always postures and positions his thinking from the standpoint of both; “second, third, and fourth order effects and mid-to-long term impact” where it is dealing with national politics, economics or national security.

We must also understand that President Trump says and does things, while at the same time maneuvers without explanation or why he says or does what he does.  Whether it is for optics, deception, showmanship, or operational security matters – he does so effectively. Critical rule of thumb when reacting to this President’s words and actions – when in doubt, give it 48-72 hours, otherwise STFU.

Unfortunately, those so-called facts put forth from Ms. Pierson’s U.S. intelligence assessment; ‘that Russia views Trump as someone they can work with and the separate assessment of Russian interference in the 2020 elections’ have provided Democrats and the mainstream media, as expected short-lived sound bite(s) to use against President Trump. One of the first out of the gate were the moronic comments by Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Murphy argued Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that Russia would like to see Trump re-elected “because he has been a gift to Russia.” Murphy went on saying; “Trump has essentially ceded the Middle East to Russian interests. He has accomplished more in the undermining of NATO than Russia has in the last 20 years … and he continued to effectively deny that they have an ongoing political operation here in the United States that, by and large, is intended to support Donald Trump and his allies.”

Of course, the lunacy of the left and the mainstream media indicated that they DON’T GET IT. One source familiar with the matter said Pierson was merely providing her view of the intelligence as she faced a series of questions from lawmakers trying to pin her down on whether the intelligence showed a Russian preference for Mr. Trump. Obviously, she’s a looser and needs to be fired from the intelligence community – primary reason; as an intelligence briefer, you don’t make shit up. You don’t get to provide your own personal view, let alone one that is as stupid and moronic as hers. In fact, it’s just the type of situation that intelligence briefers are prepped to avoid, primarily in part so as not to wade into partisan controversy, as Democrats on the Intelligence Committee attempted to do – albeit successfully. Many of those who I spoke with within the intelligence community stated that the answer she provided has been misconstrued because it lacked context, nuance and of course factual intelligence. Again, the way I see it, Ms. Pierson has no business serving in the intelligence community, any longer. 

As a result, the necessary steps were necessary to be taken. The brouhaha over this limited and secret intelligence briefing led national security adviser Robert O’Brien to flatly deny the existence of the intelligence assessment that Ms. Pierson presented to specifically directed at Democrat members of the House Intelligence Committee. Again, as it pertained to Russian interference aimed at helping Trump. O’Brien claimed he had not seen any intelligence or analyses indicating that Russia was aiding President Trump, and neither had top leaders in the intelligence agencies. 

Further, O’Brien firmly chided those involved with setting up the clandestine secret briefing for the Intelligence Committee stating that; “Well, there’s no briefing that I’ve received, that the President has received, that says that President Putin is doing anything to try and influence the {2020} elections in favor of President Trump. In fact, O’Brien went public Sunday morning on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” saying; we just haven’t seen that intelligence. If it’s out there, I haven’t seen it. I’d be surprised if anyone has seen it. The leaders of our Intelligence Community have not seen it.” 

Having been a U.S. senior strategic intelligence officer and an NSC staffer, I can assure everyone, the President gets briefed first and anything that is provided to any Congressional Committee always is provided to the President first.

With that, nearly simultaneously, while Mr. O’Brien denied that assessment about Russia interference and Mr. Trump, he was quick to seize on the factual report that Russia is in fact interfering in the election to help Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democrat Party primaries. O’Brien indicated that there are reports that they want Bernie Sanders to get elected president. That’s no surprise. He honeymooned in Moscow,” O’Brien told ABC News, parroting a line that President Trump used during a campaign rally on Friday.

However, in the case of Bernie, as is standard procedure, the intelligence agencies in fact warned Mr. Sanders that Russia was in fact attempting to and was interfering in an effort to boost him in the Democrat Party primaries, they have not assessed that Russia wants Sanders to win the general election, but as O’Brien indicated, that is likely the case. Unfortunately, most don’t realize, and Mr. Sanders, albeit quietly, acknowledged Friday that he was in fact briefed last month by U.S. intelligence officials about Russian efforts to boost his chances for becoming the Democrat presidential nominee — something that could be seen as beneficial to President Trump’s re-election prospects.

In the aftermath, O’Brien said; “All I know is that the Republicans in the House Intelligence Committee briefing were unhappy with the hearing and said that there was no intelligence to back up what was being said.” Noting further that, “… here’s the deal: I don’t even know if what’s been reported as being said [by the briefers] is true. You know those are leaks coming out of that hearing.” Again, my suspicions are that those leaks originated from none other than Adam Schiff.  After all he is a master-leaker.

Also, in the aftermath, President Trump took the opportunity to address the information coming out of the House Intelligence Committee, again, as most know is led by Chairman Adam Schiff. The President accused Rep. Schiff, of having played a lead role in Trump’s impeachment effort and of leaking information from a ‘secret classified briefings.’

Trump tweeted that; “Schiff and his group, they leaked it to the papers and as usual.” “They ought to investigate Adam Schiff for leaking that information. He should not be leaking information out of intelligence. They ought to investigate Adam Schiff.”

Congressman Schiff said Trump’s accusation was false. “Nice deflection, Mr. President. But your false claims fools no one,” Schiff tweeted. “You welcomed Russian help in 2016, tried to coerce Ukraine’s help in 2019, and won’t protect our elections in 2020.”

Mr. Schiff in another lie, also claimed that Trump “fired” Joseph Maguire this past week as acting national intelligence director for “briefing Congress” about election interference from Russia. “You’ve betrayed America. Again,” Schiff tweeted.

President Trump, however, has remained skeptical about the Russian interference. Asked why Trump recently called Russian interference in the election “another misinformation campaign” that is being “launched by the Democrats in Congress,” Marc Short, chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence, defended the President. Short told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” that President Trump does want to stop foreign interference in the elections. Short also said the President wants to have a briefing at the White House in the next couple weeks so “we can tell the American people how we’re making sure that our voting is safer.” This will send a clear signal to all, including the Democrats that America is watching their antics and certainly as is the intelligence community.

Then there’s the “facts” about the real impact that must be addressed regarding the now former acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire which is the “real” fallout that has come out of all of this. First off, O’Brien also denied reports that President Trump became angry when he was told about the secret clandestine briefing and that he confronted former acting national intelligence director Joseph Maguire and subsequently replaced him with the U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell.

Mr. O’Brien said that the President was not angry with Mr. Maguire and would have liked Maguire to stay in government in a different role. It is noted that the President was angry with the fact that what Ms. Pierson told the House Intelligence Committee was not provided to him. That investigation as to why that happened is now ongoing. Certainly, key will be what were Ms. Pierson’s motives and intent, and why it all occurred as it did. 

O’Brien went on to say that Mr. Maguire’s time as acting director of national intelligence was up in early March and that the White House needed an individual — someone who had already been confirmed by the Senate — to temporarily replace him. One thing that must be understood is that few people know about is that the President likes that process of using the tool or mechanism of “acting” for replacing officials. He sees it as a way to assess and manage without having to fire officers and Cabinet officials when they don’t workout. The “acting” process within the federal government personnel system is for senior level officials. It is in effect for only 210-days from the time an official take on a senior level role in an agency, department, or Cabinet office. After which, those in such positions, if they don’t work out can be let go when their term of employment expires.

In his Sunday morning appearances on the talk show circuit, Mr. O’Brien said; “Ambassador Richard Grenell is there for a temporary period of time,” adding that President Trump was expected to announce a nominee to be quickly confirmed by the Senate as the full-time director. The president has said he is considering three or four candidates. Both my personal and professional take along with my analysis, and in discussions with my Washington, DC sources, highly suggest that Richard Grenell is well liked by the President and his role as Director of the Office of National Intelligence will be renewed permanently beyond the 210-day “acting” Director stint. Grenell is a loyalist which is critical to this President. Hence, the now reports of Mr. Trump wanting to know who are the loyalists in the White House Executive Office of the President.