Ousted Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was reportedly ordered to not tell President Donald Trump about her work to prevent Russian meddling in the 2020 election.
The New York Times reports that, before she was fired earlier this year, Nielsen was making a push within the White House to focus her department’s energies on defending the integrity of American elections against foreign interference.
However, the Times reports that White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney instructed her to not mention these efforts to the president for fear of angering him.
“Officials said she had become increasingly concerned about Russia’s continued activity in the United States during and after the 2018 midterm elections — ranging from its search for new techniques to divide Americans using social media, to experiments by hackers, to rerouting internet traffic and infiltrating power grids,” the report claims. “But in a meeting this year, Mick Mulvaney, the White House chief of staff, made it clear that Mr. Trump still equated any public discussion of malign Russian election activity with questions about the legitimacy of his victory.”
Nielsen subsequently gave up her efforts to conduct a cabinet-wide meeting on Russian interference and much of the information she’s acquired about new techniques the Russians are using has not been publicly revealed.