Transcript for Homeland Security withheld intelligence on Russian scheme against Biden
The department of homeland security withholding a bulletin warning about possible Russian interference in the election. Here's ABC's chief white house correspondent Jonathan Karl. Reporter: It was meant to be a warning, an intelligence bulletin from the department of homeland security alerting local, state and federal law enforcement to a Russian scheme to damage Joe Biden's campaign by spreading misinformation that Biden isn't mentally fit to be president. It warned of the Russians spreading a message similar to the one president trump has promoted himself. Joe's not all there. Everybody knows it. Reporter: The draft dhs bulletin warns Russia is "Likely to continue denigrating presidential candidates through allegations of poor mental or physical health to influence the outcome of the 2020 elections." It cites stories by Russian controlled news outlets from September 2019 until may of this year, claiming, without evidence, that Joe Biden's, quote, verbal miscues, are symptoms of dementia. The bulletin also says Chinese and Iranian state-controlled media have raised questions about president trump's mental fitness. According to an email obtained by ABC news, the bulletin was supposed to go out on July 9th, but it never did. The chief of staff to acting secretary of homeland security Chad wolf put the brakes on, writing, "Please hold on sending this one out until you have a chance to speak to as1." As1 is acting secretary wolf. That was nearly two months ago and the bulletin still has not gone out. The president doesn't want congress or the American people informed about Russian efforts to help his campaign. The withholding of this document is just the latest and most graphic evidence of that fundamental problem. Reporter: A dhs spokesperson acknowledges the bulletin was withheld, telling ABC news it "Lacked the necessary context and evidence for broader dissemination." The spokesperson also notes that dhs did share three other reports on election security with state and local law enforcement. All of this comes after the director of national intelligence informed congress over the weekend that they would no longer provide in-person briefings on election security. When they made that announcement, they said they would continue to provide written reports, but Tom, this obviously raises concerns about written information being withheld, as well. Okay, Jon, thank you. Now to breaking news from
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