President Trump was outraged at his acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire last week after learning that one of Maguire’s staff members gave a 2020 election security briefing to the House Intelligence Committee, The Washington Post reported Thursday. In the briefing, Maguire aide Shelby Pierson alerted committee members that Russia was interfering in the 2020 campaign in an effort to tip the election in Trump’s favor, The New York Times reported.
Trump reportedly had considered naming Maguire as the permanent director of national intelligence. Instead, he tapped American ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell on Wednesday after being informed by a GOP ally that Pierson spoke at the Feb. 13 briefing to lawmakers on “election security and foreign interference in the run-up to the 2020 election,” according to the Post. The president reportedly believed that Pierson was conspiring with House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), and held Maguire responsible for what he regarded as an act of disloyalty. The president complained that Democrats would “weaponize” the disclosure of Russian interference, the Times reported.