Trump replaces top intelligence official amid news of 2020 election interference

The president believed Democrats would use information from a briefing with the House Intelligence Committee that Russia is planning to interfere in the 2020 campaign to bolster Trump’s re-election against him.
4:24 | 02/21/20

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Transcript for Trump replaces top intelligence official amid news of 2020 election interference
we're just one day away from the next round of votes in the nation. Early voting in Nevada already putting them on track for a record turnout. Nearly 75,000 people have already cast their votes ahead of tomorrow's caucuses. That's almost as many as voted last time around. More on that coming up. We begin with the warning from the president. Intelligence officials warned lawmakers that Russia is trying to intervene in the 2020 election to help president trump get re-elected. The president was enraged when he learned of this briefing. Now he is replacing the director of national intelligence and other officials with trump loyalists. Our chief white house correspondent Jon Karl starts us off from Washington. Good morning. Reporter: The intelligence community is warning that Russia is once again planning to interfere in a U.S. Election. The president is infuriated but not by what Russia is doing, instead he is angry that intelligence officials shared that information with Democrats in congress. Overnight the president held a campaign rally in Colorado as news broke about his decision to oust America's top intelligence official. Where else would you like to be but a trump rally? Right? Reporter: ABC news confirmed that intelligence officials told the house intelligence committee last week that Russia is planning to interfere in the 2020 campaign to bolster the president's re-election. Reporter: That briefing which detailed how Russia would use social media to spread disinformation in support of president trump infuriated the president especially the presence of Adam Schiff, the Democrat who led the impeachment proceedings in the house. The president attacked Schiff again last night in Colorado. That little Adam Schiff, what a crooked politician. He's a corrupt politician. Reporter: Sources tell ABC news the president believed Democrats would use the information from the briefing against him. Democrats overnight defended the intelligence officials and congressional oversight. To act like they did something that they stepped out of their lane and did something that was totally inappropriate is wrong. That is their job. Reporter: According to "The Washington post" in response to the briefing the president called in then acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire to the oval office on Friday for a, quote, dressing-down, and by this Wednesday Maguire was out of a job replaced by ambassador to Germany ric grenell. In addition cash Patel and author of a congressional report attempting to discredit the Russia investigation has been elevated to a senior role under grenell. And this morning as officials continue to worry that Russia will employ various cyberwarfare techniques including ransomware to undermine our upcoming election ABC news confirmed the additional departures of two more top intelligence officials. Ric grenell is not expected to be on the job long. Senior officials at the white house say the president will soon nominate a permanent choice to be director of national intelligence. Last night speaking to reporters on air force one the president said that one candidate for that job is congressman Republican Doug Collins. He is another trump loyalist who led the president's defense or helped lead it in the impeachment proceedings in the Right, grenell can stay in the job until the next official is confirmed. Meantime, still dealing with the fallout of the last Russia vestigation. The sentencing yesterday of Roger stone, the president's longtime political confidant and the judge was pretty tough in giving the sentence. She said that Roger stone was not prosecuted for standing up for the president, he was prosecuted for covering up for the president. But the president continued to defy the judge and the attorney general by tweeting and speaking out during the sentencing and a pardon for stone very much on Reporter: Absolutely, George. As you said, it was during the sentencing proceedings that the president tweeted that he hopes that stone will be fully exonerated. This appears to be in direct -- directly defy what the attorney general said. He said tweeting on such matters makes it impossible for him to do his job. As for the job she also said in making the sentence that, quote, the truth still exists. The truth still matters. Otherwise, everyone loses. George. Okay. Jon Karl, thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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