Trump angered by how previous DNI handled intelligence briefing

Trump’s surprise decision to appoint Richard Grenell as his next acting Director of National Intelligence came after Joseph Maguire enraged Trump by giving an intelligence briefing to House Democrats.
2:27 | 02/21/20

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Transcript for Trump angered by how previous DNI handled intelligence briefing
Good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a very busy Thursday night. And we begin tonight with that developing headline involving the president and Russia, and a new intelligence report that says Russia is right now reportedly trying to help the president get re-elected. House slid leaders were briefed already. And ABC news confirms that angered the president. We already reported here he removed his acting director of national intelligence. The president announcing in just the last 24 hours that Joseph Maguire would be replaced. And tonight, multiple reports now, that move came after the president learned Maguire's staff had briefed leaders in congress. ABC's chief white house correspondent Jonathan Karl leading us off. Reporter: Tonight, "The new York Times" reports intelligence officials told the house intelligence committee, in a classified briefing, that, quote, Russia was interfering in the 2020 campaign to try to get president trump re-elected. "The times" reports the briefing infuriated president trump, especially the presence in the briefing of Adam Schiff, the Democrat who led the impeachment in the house. These people have vicious. Adam Schiff is a vicious, horrible person. Reporter: According to another report in "The Washington post," the president called in then-acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire to the oval office for a, quote, dressing down last Friday. ABC news has confirmed the report. Sources tell us the president believed Democrats would use the information from the briefing against him. In the past, the president has praised the acting director of national intelligence. Admiral Maguire is a very talented man. Reporter: But now, one week after that election security briefing, Maguire is out. His replacement? Ambassador to Germany Richard grennell, a staunch trump loyalist with no intelligence experience. Jon Karl with us tonight from the white house. And Jon, we know the new acting director of national intelligence has been openly skeptical about Russian meddling in the 2016 election and now we have these new headlines tonight. Reporter: Yes. Back in 2016, grennell wrote an opinion piece for Fox News that called the intelligence community's findings on Russian interference unproven. He also added that Russian interference had been around for decades. But David, I'm told by two senior officials that grennell will not be on the job long that the president will nominate a director of national intelligence soon, possibly within days and it will not be grennell. All right, more to come on this. Jon, thank you.

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

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