White House denies Homeland Security boss is refusing Trump’s order to fire cybersecurity chief


The White House is denying a report that Donald Trump’s acting Homeland Security secretary is resisting his boss’s order to fire the agency’s head of cybersecurity who publicly broke with the president over his claims that the election was rife with fraud.

Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of DHS, reportedly told White House officials that he would not carry out the president’s wishes to terminate Christopher Krebs.

‘[Wolf] gave us a bunch of reasons why he didn’t want to do it and he said no,’ a senior White House official told the New York Post.

‘If anything, Chad is carrying Krebs’ water.’

Another administration official was quoted by the Post as saying ‘the president wants to fire him’ and ‘Chad Wolf is refusing.’

‘Honestly, it was the president saying, “What the heck is this guy doing? He’s giving me grief before the election and now he’s saying there’s nothing wrong in the world?”‘ a White House official told the Post. 

A White House spokesperson told DailyMail.com that the Post report is ‘not accurate.’ 

President Trump

Chad Wolf (left), the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, is reportedly defying President Trump’s (right) order to fire one of the agency’s top cybersecurity officials

The president is reported to have ordered the firing of Christopher Krebs (pictured), the head of DHS's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Krebs has publicly pushed back on claims that the November 3 election was tainted by fraud

The president is reported to have ordered the firing of Christopher Krebs (pictured), the head of DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Krebs has publicly pushed back on claims that the November 3 election was tainted by fraud

The president was reportedly angered by Krebs after his department posted an official government website called 'Rumor Control' whose aim is to debunk misinformation about election fraud. Trump has made several claims of voter fraud, though no evidence has surfaced to support the allegations

The president was reportedly angered by Krebs after his department posted an official government website called ‘Rumor Control’ whose aim is to debunk misinformation about election fraud. Trump has made several claims of voter fraud, though no evidence has surfaced to support the allegations

The spokesperson referred DailyMail.com to DHS, which has yet to comment on the Post report.

Krebs’ critics within the Trump administration said he is close to Miles Taylor, the former DHS chief of staff who recently revealed himself to be ‘Anonymous.’

Days before the election, Taylor said he was the then-senior official who wrote a 2018 New York Times op-ed in which he declared that administration insiders were working to thwart the president’s agenda because they knew he was unfit for office.

The identity of ‘Anonymous’ consumed the president and his aides for some time and became one of Washington’s favorite guessing games. 

Taylor revealed himself as the culprit on Twitter in late October, just before an interview with CNN‘s Jake Tapper.

However, just weeks earlier in August, Taylor denied being the unnamed author when asked during an interview on the network with Anderson Cooper.

Taylor has been contacted by DailyMail.com seeking comment. 

‘Chad was asked by the president to fire Anonymous’ best friend and he’s refusing,’ an administration official told the Post.

‘He is not managing his agency, but that should not surprise anyone because he is a [former DHS Secretary Kirstjen] Nielsen lackey.’

Trump administration officials said that Krebs is an ally of Miles Taylor, the former DHS chief of staff who revealed himself to be 'Anonymous'

Trump administration officials said that Krebs is an ally of Miles Taylor, the former DHS chief of staff who revealed himself to be ‘Anonymous’

Days before the election, Taylor said he was the then-senior official who wrote a 2018 New York Times op-ed in which he declared that administration insiders were working to thwart the president's agenda because they knew he was unfit for office

Days before the election, Taylor said he was the then-senior official who wrote a 2018 New York Times op-ed in which he declared that administration insiders were working to thwart the president’s agenda because they knew he was unfit for office 

Nielsen served as DHS secretary from December 2017 until her resignation in April 2019. 

A spokesperson for Wolf told the Post: ‘All political appointees serve at the pleasure of the president. 

‘The White House has unilateral authority in hiring and firing of presidential appointees.’ 

After his loss in the November 3 presidential election, Trump purged his administration of top officials in DHS and the Pentagon who were deemed insufficiently loyal.

Krebs, who heads the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), feared that he would be next in line to be fired.

CISA drew widespread attention when it declared earlier this week that the ‘November 3rd election was the most secure in American history.’ 

Several sources told Reuters earlier this week that Krebs expected to be fired by Trump, who was reportedly angered over a ‘rumor control’ website that the cybersecurity official posted in order to debunk false election claims. 

Krebs has been overseeing the 'rumor control' website, which has been debunking conspiracy theories

Krebs has been overseeing the ‘rumor control’ website, which has been debunking conspiracy theories

On Wednesday, he retweeted a post on technical exploitation of the vote

On Wednesday, he retweeted a post on technical exploitation of the vote

One post noted that 'undervotes' – like ballots with only a vote for president selected – are not uncommon

One post noted that ‘undervotes’ – like ballots with only a vote for president selected – are not uncommon

He also posted to collect 'misinformation' about Wisconsin, which has been called for Biden

He also posted to collect ‘misinformation’ about Wisconsin, which has been called for Biden

Separately, Bryan Ware, assistant director for cybersecurity at CISA, confirmed to Reuters that he had handed in his resignation on Thursday.

Also going is Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Affairs Valerie Boyd, CNN reported. 

Ware told colleagues he is leaving ‘with much sadness…it’s too soon.’ 

Krebs has drawn widespread bipartisan praise for his handling of the election, which generally ran smoothly despite persistent fears that foreign hackers might try to undermine the vote.

But he drew the ire of the Trump White House over a website run by CISA dubbed ‘Rumor Control’ which debunks misinformation about the election, according to the three people familiar with the matter.

The Rumor Control site was designed to take on any foreign misinformation – but ended up contradicting unsubstantiated claims being put forward by the president as he seeks to wipe away Biden’s lead in battleground states. 

Some of Krebs’ tweets reveal why he may have been in hot water with the president’s team.

On Wednesday, he retweeted a writer and academic who wrote: ‘To my knowledge (and this is my field of expertise), no serious evidence has yet been found or presented that suggests that the 2020 election outcome in any state has been altered through technical exploitation. Period.’

President Trump made the claim of election fraud that Twitter called 'disputed,' after he said election software 'deleted' millions of Trump ballots and caused thousands to be 'switched' from Trump to President-elect Joe Biden

President Trump made the claim of election fraud that Twitter called ‘disputed,’ after he said election software ‘deleted’ millions of Trump ballots and caused thousands to be ‘switched’ from Trump to President-elect Joe Biden

President Trump forwarded a 'disputed' claim about election fraud by retweeting a conspiracy theory about voting machines deleting 2.7 million Trump votes

President Trump forwarded a ‘disputed’ claim about election fraud by retweeting a conspiracy theory about voting machines deleting 2.7 million Trump votes

He retweeted the Wisconsin Election Commission’s post ‘Correcting Misinformation about Wisconsin’s Election,’ as the president claims without evidence there has been fraud in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and other states he lost. Trump has also attacked the count in Georgia, where he is behind.

A ‘rumor control update,’ posted between blaring siren updates, talks about ‘robust safety’ that ensures the accuracy of results.

‘New content in our “results accuracy” entry that expands on the controls elex officials use before, during, and after an election to ensure election-related software/hardware aren’t single points of failure,’ Krebs wrote.

The cite has also noted that ‘election integrity measures protect’ against dead people voting – a claim repeatedly put forward by Trump and his supporters.

Amid swirling internet rumors about ballots containing only a vote for Biden, but nothing down the ticket, the site notes that these ‘do not by themselves indicate fraud,’ that that such voting happens every election. 

On Thursday, Trump blasted out unverified claims that 2.7 million votes for Trump were ‘deleted.’ He cited a report from conservative loyalist network OAN. It claimed 241,000 votes were ‘switched’ from Trump to Biden, and that 941,000 were deleted.

Officials work on ballots at the Gwinnett County Voter Registration and Elections Headquarters, Friday, Nov. 6, 2020, in Lawrenceville, near Atlanta. Biden leads in Georgia by 14,000 votes

Officials work on ballots at the Gwinnett County Voter Registration and Elections Headquarters, Friday, Nov. 6, 2020, in Lawrenceville, near Atlanta. Biden leads in Georgia by 14,000 votes

Fox News commentators talked about a conspiracy theory that a computer named ‘Hammer’ and software called ‘Scorecard’ were ripping votes away from Trump and giving them to Biden.

According to Politico, Krebs wrote in response: ‘This is not a real thing.’

The claim, however, has been widely debunked in the media and by state election officials who provided explanations of periodic errors in the massive counting process. 

”REPORT: DOMINION DELETED 2.7 MILLION TRUMP VOTES NATIONWIDE. DATA ANALYSIS FINDS 221,000 PENNSYLVANIA VOTES SWITCHED FROM PRESIDENT TRUMP TO BIDEN. 941,000 TRUMP VOTES DELETED. STATES USING DOMINION VOTING SYSTEMS SWITCHED 435,000 VOTES FROM TRUMP TO BIDEN,’ read the all-caps missive,’ Trump wrote.

White House officials have asked for content to be edited or removed from the website, which has pushed back against false claims that Democrats are behind a mass election fraud operation. 

CISA officials have refused to delete accurate information.

Ware is one of several officials who have left national security-related posts since President Donald Trump lost the election to Joe Biden. Trump has yet to concede.

Ware did not provide details, but a U.S. official familiar with his matter said the White House asked for Ware’s resignation earlier this week.

The churn is being closely watched amid concern for the integrity of the transition from Trump to Biden.    





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US Homeland Security, Border Force in police operation


A man has been arrested after police, Border Force and US Homeland Security officials descended upon a home in regional New South Wales.

Police say the operation, on Violet St in South Bathurst, is ongoing and a 50-metre exclusion zone is in place after they uncovered a “suspicious substance”.

A 36-year-old man is expected to be charged over the alleged importation of illegal firearm parts and drug manufacturing equipment.

NSW Police began a joint investigation with Australian Border Force and United States Homeland Security Investigations last month “after receiving information in relation to the alleged importation of firearm parts and drug manufacturing equipment into Australia from the US, Hong Kong, China, Germany and Japan”, police and the ABF said in a joint statement on Wednesday afternoon.

“Following extensive investigations, NSWPF officers from Western Region Enforcement Squad and investigators from ABF and HSI executed a NSW search warrant and a customs search and seizure warrant at a home at South Bathurst just after 6am today,” it reads.

“After investigators uncovered a suspicious substance inside the home, assistance was requested from Fire and Rescue NSW’s hazmat to render the area safe.”

The operation is supported by local police and the dog squad.

Specialist officers were also sent from Sydney from the Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit and the Drug and Firearms Squad’s Chemical Operations Unit.

The 36-year-old male resident was served with Firearms and Weapons Prohibition Orders before being arrested and taken to Bathurst Police Station where he is expected to be charged later on Wednesday.

The Department of Homeland Security is described by the United States Government as “working to improve the security” of the country.

“The Department’s work includes customs, border, and immigration enforcement, emergency response to natural and manmade disasters, antiterrorism work, and cybersecurity,” it states.

NSW Police Inspector David Abercrombie told reporters at the scene an “unknown substance” was discovered in the South Bathurst home.

He said officers “were a bit concerned” about the substance and contacted the hazmat unit who decided on a 50-metre exclusion zone.

“They’ve made an assessment and with that assessment they’ve decided to enforce an exclusion zone around the house at this stage, until further testing is done and we can work out what it is,” Insp Abercrombie, the officer in charge of Bathurst Police Station, said.

“The decision was made this morning that a house immediately beside the premises that the police were at and one behind were doorknocked and asked to evacuate.

“One of those was already vacant so that wasn’t an issue but the resident of the house next-door has left the location.”

Insp Abercrombie said they “don’t know” what the substance is.

“There are concerns that it’s an unknown substance that could possibly pose a danger to not only the police that were inside the house but possibly residents around the area,” he said.

The operation is expected to take a number of hours.

Earlier on Wednesday, a NSW Police spokeswoman told news.com.au: “A planned police operation is under way in the state’s Central West this morning.”

“The joint agency operation which involves the NSW Police Force, Australian Border Force and US Homeland Security Investigations commenced about 6am at a home at South Bathurst,” she said.

“Investigators are also being assisted by Fire and Rescue NSW and NSW Ambulance. Members of the community are urged to avoid the area at this time.”



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NSW Police, ABF, US Homeland Security joint operation in South Bathurst


US Homeland Security, NSW Police and Australian Border Force officials are carrying out a joint operation at a home in South Bathurst, with residents urged to avoid the area.

The operation on Violet Street, which is not counter-terrorism related, started at 6am on Tuesday.

“The investigation is also being assisted by NSW Fire and Rescue and NSW Ambulance. The community is urged to avoid the area,” a NSW Police statement said.

More to come.



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The master’s bidding – Assessing Donald Trump’s use of the Homeland Security department | United States


GEORGE W. BUSH and Barack Obama each had three secretaries of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in their eight years in office—two Senate-confirmed, and an acting secretary between. In less than four years, Donald Trump has had five. The last Senate-confirmed secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, resigned in April 2019. Mr Trump reportedly told her she was “not tough enough” and did not “look the part”.

She had been chief of staff for the other Senate-confirmed secretary, John Kelly, who became Mr Trump’s chief of staff, and whom Mr Trump now describes as “totally exhausted” and “unable to function”. Chad Wolf, a former lobbyist, has been acting head for more than the 300 days allowed by federal law, having replaced another acting secretary, Kevin McAleenan, who resigned after complaining about the “tone [and] message” of the president’s immigration policy. Mr Trump does not seem minded to remove Mr Wolf. Acting secretaries, the president has said, give him “more flexibility”, and few cabinet departments have pursued his political goals as flexibly and relentlessly as the DHS.

Created in the wake of the September 11th attacks, the DHS is the youngest of America’s 15 executive departments; it opened its doors in 2003. Unlike other departments, it does not have a long-established institutional culture. Designed to bolster America’s defence against terrorist attacks, disasters and other large-scale threats, it now includes Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Transportation Security Administration and the Secret Service, making it America’s largest federal law-enforcement agency, with more than 60,000 officers and agents.

Presidents stamp their priorities on it as they do on any other cabinet department. The first mission listed in the act of Congress creating the department was to “prevent terrorist attacks within the United States”. Paul Rosenzweig, a former deputy assistant secretary for policy at the DHS and now a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, a think-tank, recalls that Mr Bush held “Terrorism Tuesdays”, at which senior officials would brief him on threats. That posed by al-Qaeda receded during Mr Obama’s presidency, leaving him free to focus more on cyber-security and immigration. As Carrie Cordero of the Centre for a New American Security puts it, the DHS really is “an all-hazards department”.

It particularly interests Mr Trump because of its role in immigration enforcement. It has carried out several of his most controversial policies, including building bits of the border wall, separating migrant parents from children, implementing sweeping travel bans and deploying paramilitary forces against protesters in Portland, Oregon and Washington, DC. None of these uses clearly exceeds Mr Trump’s statutory authority; presidents have broad powers and discretion to define and respond to matters of national security.

But, Mr Rosenzweig argues, “this president has taken his discretionary authorities and used them in distorted ways that were never reasonably within the contemplation of those who created those authorities in the first place”. For instance, presidents can deploy BORTAC, the border agency’s paramilitary troops, to help the Federal Protective Service guard federal property, as Mr Trump did by executive order on June 26th. But none has previously deployed paramilitary forces against the wishes of a state governor—as Mr Trump did in Oregon, where, wearing uniforms without names or identification, they appeared to arrest people far from the buildings they were ostensibly guarding—nor sent them to “sanctuary cities”, from Boston to Los Angeles, in a show of force.

Presidents worry about border security and deterring illegal immigration. But Miles Taylor, a lifelong Republican and former DHS chief of staff, says that Mr Trump “deliberately told us, on multiple occasions, to implement policies that would maim, tear-gas and injure innocent, unarmed civilians” trying to cross the border. Mr Taylor told a podcast hosted by the Bulwark, a right-leaning website, that Mr Trump wanted the border wall topped with spikes that would “go through their hands and their arms and pierce human flesh”.

A long way from 9/11

Under Mr Trump, the DHS has also been the subject of complaints by whistle-blowers. Brian Murphy, who ran the intelligence office, alleged that Mr Wolf told him to downplay reports of Russian electoral interference because they “made the president look bad”, (a DHS spokesman denies the allegation). Dawn Wooten, a nurse at an immigration-detention centre in Georgia, alleged that doctors underreported covid-19 cases and refused to test detainees with symptoms. She says one doctor performed hysterectomies on detained immigrants without their full consent (the doctor accused denies the allegation).

Mr Trump’s use of the department has led some on the left to press for its abolition—an outcome this is both politically unlikely and, in the amount of structural reorganisation it would require, unwise. Should Mr Trump lose in November, Democrats may suggest consolidating congressional oversight (more than 100 congressional committees have some homeland-security purview), press for more transparent operational guidelines and try to reduce the number of political appointees, rather than getting rid of it.

And what if Mr Trump wins? The DHS would remain dedicated to his political goals, meaning more federal officers facing off against protesters and more immigration enforcement designed to terrify. The president would find more inventive uses for this malleable bureaucracy.

Dig deeper:
Read the best of our 2020 campaign coverage and our presidential-election forecast, then sign up for Checks and Balance, our weekly newsletter and podcast on American politics.

This article appeared in the United States section of the print edition under the headline “The master’s bidding”

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After fleeing her own homeland, this woman dedicated her life to supporting Australia’s refugees


Amid the socio-political unrest of 1977 Chile, 26-year-old Lucy Marin and her family fled to Australia.

With their two-year-old baby Cesar in tow, Lucy and her husband Oscar wanted to escape the problems of General Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship that saw members of her family persecuted and incarcerated.

Pinochet led a brutal regime which repressed the country through corruption and countless human rights abuses such as extrajudicial executions, torture and forced disappearances. It would last for 17 years. 

Having a lived experience of trauma meant the now 68-year-old Lucy has been able to dedicate herself to a life of understanding others, counselling newly-arrived people from refugee backgrounds with similar emotional bruises.

Lucy left her life in Chile behind to come to Australia.

Supplied

“I think it has a lot to do with how much you can give and provide and support your communities when you know how difficult it is to arrive in another country with the lack of everything,” she told SBS News from her home in Edensor Park, western Sydney. 

“The lack of knowledge of the new culture, the lack of support, with most of your feelings breaking down because of trauma, grief, isolation, language barriers – everything.”

Lucy studied social work and welfare community services at TAFE, trauma counselling at the NSW Institute of Psychiatry, and between 1985 and 1989, worked in settlement services with the Department of Immigration. 

For the past 31 years, she has worked as a counsellor and project officer at the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS).

Lucy Marin

Lucy has worked at STARTTS for 31 years.

Bernadette Clarke/SBS News

Her clients have fled various countries due to traumatic experiences, leading to mental health issues, and face new obstacles settling into a different country, culture and language. 

Lucy’s commitment to the health and rehabilitation of refugees saw her announced as a recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia on Sunday, a recognition she did not expect.

“I actually couldn’t believe it. It’s much appreciated to the people that took the initiative of doing this,” she said. “I feel extremely well about it. Not just for myself, but for my community as well. I think it is a fantastic thing to be part of.”

Recipients for the Queen’s Birthday Honours List are nominated by members of the Australian public. This year, 41 per cent of recipients in the General Division are women, despite a campaign for a 50-50 gender split. 

Lucy says she is honoured to receive the award.

“As a woman, as a representative of females in my community, as a mother, I think it’s a great achievement.”

“I feel very happy to be in a position, later living in this country after 43 years, where I feel very Australian, but I feel very Chilean. Not only me, my family [too].”

Lucy Marin

Lucy’s clients have fled various countries due to traumatic experiences.

Bernadette Clarke/SBS News

Lucy says her sons, Cesar, now 45, and his Australian-born brother Steve, 37, feel just as Chilean and Australian as she does.

Since her boys were little they have sung lullabies in Spanish, and they have maintained their connection to their Chilean culture through music, playing traditional instruments such as the charango and drums. 

Lucy admits that working in the trauma sector can be difficult, and at times upsetting for her and her colleagues, many of whom are also from migrant backgrounds.

“It can be very traumatic for me as well, [but] the healthy thing about STARTTS is that we have a clear understanding of [the client’s] trauma, because one way or another, as a counsellor, we’ve been through some of the same experiences, or the migration process of settlement, and barriers.”

One particular client Lucy remembers from her years of service is a 25-year-old man who had been a guerilla in Central America since the age of nine.

“He was doing that in secret because he was told at the time that if he told someone, his family was going to be killed,” she said. “He was vulnerable, he was not conscious of what he was doing.”

Lucy Marin

Lucy with her husband and sons. The family remain connected to their Chilean culture.

Supplied

Lucy said people who come from traumatic backgrounds could have the mentality to do awful things to people around them, but her client chose not to, and instead, sought her help.

“That child being so scared … because of his fear, he could have done nasty, ugly things. He was a victim, he could victimise other people, but he needed to survive.”

Lucy says it brings her joy bumping into her clients years later. 

“It’s a beautiful feeling, seeing those clients from 20, 30 years ago and I can see they’re successful, settled, focused in life, having their families protected – it’s beautiful.”

“I wish STARTTS existed in 1977 when I first arrived here.”

The non-profit service provides culturally relevant psychological support and community intervention to help trauma survivors and refugees rebuild their lives in Australia.

Lucy says she has seen a positive shift in the way some minority communities are now embracing conselling thanks to bilingual services becoming more readily available.

An area in which she is being recognised as part of her honour is her years of providing help to those who wish to speak Spanish during sessions.

Lucy Marin

Lucy is proud to receive a Queen’s Birthday honour.

Bernadette Clarke/SBS News

“Conceptualising more than feelings is extremely important to express what you feel in your mother language until you properly feel comfortable that English can be as much as the same as the other language,” she said. 

“It opens the doors for individual clients to contemplate counselling, because the concept of counselling 30 years ago was not that acceptable in some communities.”

“I think these days it’s becoming more and more acceptable to go and consult with someone or talk to someone about your pain.”

With no plans to retire any time soon, Lucy said she has a message for women of all ages who want to follow a meaningful cause. 

“I would like to encourage more women, it doesn’t matter the age, to focus in their life and contribute to themselves, their families, their communities, their friends, and say that getting to where they want to get is possible.”

Readers seeking support with mental health can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636. More information is available at Beyond Blue.org.au.

Embrace Multicultural Mental Health supports people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.



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China hid coronavirus’ severity to hoard supplies: US Homeland Security report


WASHINGTON: US officials believe China covered up the extent of the coronavirus outbreak — and how contagious the disease is — to stock up on medical supplies needed to respond to it, intelligence documents show.
Chinese leaders “intentionally concealed the severity” of the pandemic from the world in early January, according to a four-page Department of Homeland Security intelligence report dated May 1 and obtained by The Associated Press. The revelation comes as the Trump administration has intensified its criticism of China, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying Sunday that that country was responsible for the spread of disease and must be held accountable.
Lockdown 3.0: Latest updates
The sharper rhetoric coincides with administration critics saying the government’s response to the virus was slow and inadequate. President Donald Trump‘s political opponents have accused him of lashing out at China, a geopolitical foe but critical US trade partner, in an attempt to deflect criticism at home.
Not classified but marked “for official use only,” the DHS analysis states that, while downplaying the severity of the coronavirus, China increased imports and decreased exports of medical supplies. It attempted to cover up doing so by “denying there were export restrictions and obfuscating and delaying provision of its trade data,” the analysis states.
More on Covid-19

The report also says China held off informing the World Health Organization that the coronavirus “was a contagion” for much of January so it could order medical supplies from abroad — and that its imports of face masks and surgical gowns and gloves increased sharply.
Those conclusions are based on the 95% probability that China’s changes in imports and export behavior were not within normal range, according to the report.
In a tweet on Sunday, the president appeared to blame US intelligence officials for not making clearer sooner just how dangerous a potential coronavirus outbreak could be. Trump has been defensive over whether he failed to act after receiving early warnings from intelligence officials and others about the coronavirus and its potential impact.
“Intelligence has just reported to me that I was correct, and that they did NOT bring up the CoronaVirus subject matter until late into January, just prior to my banning China from the US,” Trump wrote without citing specifics. “Also, they only spoke of the Virus in a very non-threatening, or matter of fact, manner.”
Trump had previously speculated that China may have unleashed the coronavirus due to some kind of horrible “mistake.” His intelligence agencies say they are still examining a notion put forward by the president and aides that the pandemic may have resulted from an accident at a Chinese lab.
Speaking Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Pompeo said he had no reason to believe that the virus was deliberately spread. But he added, “Remember, China has a history of infecting the world, and they have a history of running substandard laboratories.”
“These are not the first times that we’ve had a world exposed to viruses as a result of failures in a Chinese lab,” Pompeo said. “And so, while the intelligence community continues to do its work, they should continue to do that, and verify so that we are certain, I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan.”
The secretary of state appeared to be referring to previous outbreaks of respiratory viruses, like SARS, which started in China. His remark may be seen as offensive in China. Still, Pompeo repeated the same assertion hours later, via a tweet Sunday afternoon.
Speaking Sunday on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, echoed that sentiment, saying he believes China “is the most significant geopolitical threat to the United States for the next century.”
“The communist government in China bears enormous responsibility, enormous direct culpability for this pandemic. We know they covered it up,” Cruz said. “Had they behaved responsibly and sent in health professionals and quarantined those infected, there’s a real possibility this could have been a regional outbreak, and not a global pandemic. And the hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide are in a very real sense the direct responsibility of the communist Chinese government’s lies.”



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