" /> U.S. intelligence told lawmakers of Russian bid to boost Trump
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U.S. intelligence officials told lawmakers last week that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election campaign by aiming to cast doubt on the integrity of the vote and boost President Donald Trump’s re-election, a person familiar with the briefing said on Thursday.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity, said Trump’s Republican allies on the Democratic-led House Intelligence Committee questioned the assessment presented by officials of the Office of National Intelligence last Thursday.

“The Republicans responded as you would expect. They went nuts,” said the person. “They questioned the intelligence.”

The briefers warned the committee in the classified briefing that Russia was working to cast doubt on the integrity of the Nov. 3 vote while at the same time boosting Trump’s election to a second four-year term.

“They (the Russians) are favouring one candidate while they do it,” said the person, adding that the briefers identified that candidate as Trump. The source declined to elaborate.

There was no immediate response to a request for comment from committee Republicans.

The New York Times reported on Thursday that a day after the briefing, Trump rebuked acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire for allowing his staff to appear before the committee. It quoted five people familiar with the matter.

Trump said on Wednesday he was replacing Maguire on an acting basis with Richard Grenell, a strong Trump loyalist who has served as ambassador to Germany since 2018.

The Times said that in reprimanding Maguire, Trump cited the presence in the briefing of Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, the intelligence panel chairman. He led the House impeachment proceedings against Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress stemming from the president’s dealings with Ukraine. Read more

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