Breaking: The Iranian government is considering assassinating the US ambassador to South Africa in response to the killing earlier this year of Qassem Soleimani, according to highly classified intel reports. The threat intel has ramped up in recent weeks. politico.com/news/2020/09/1…
The plot against the ambassador, Lana Marks, is one of several options US officials believe Iran is considering for retaliation over Soleimani’s death. The intelligence has not been briefed directly to the intel committees or Gang of 8, but has been included in the CIA WIRe.
An intelligence community directive known as “Duty to Warn” requires U.S. spy agencies to notify a potential victim if intelligence indicates their life could be in danger; Amb. Marks has consequently been made aware of the threat, sources confirmed.

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More from @NatashaBertrand

23 Sep
NEWS, and a thread: The CIA has made it harder for intel about Russia to reach the White House, stoking fears among officials that info is being suppressed to appease Trump. Dir. Gina Haspel also has a very contentious relationship w/CIA’s Russia House.
politico.com/news/2020/09/2…
In an “unprecedented” move, in the words of one former CIA lawyer, Haspel last year, around the time of impeachment, tasked CIA’s general counsel Courtney Elwood with reviewing virtually every product that comes out of Russia House before it goes to the White House.
Elwood has a very close working relationship with John Eisenberg, the NSC’s top lawyer. Recall that Elwood called Eisenberg last year to inform him of the CIA whistleblower complaint about Trump’s conversation with Ukrainian president Zelensky.
Read 8 tweets
10 Sep
NEW: Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and intelligence experts are now concerned it may be too late to arm Americans with a clear and consistent assessment of the scale and nature of foreign election interference. politico.com/news/2020/09/1…
The topic of election security has become something of a taboo subject within the Trump admin. The NSC’s top legislative affairs official, Virginia Boney, was removed earlier this tear because she kept pressing the White House to prioritize election security efforts.
Efforts have followed to downplay Russia’s malign activities and play up the China/Iran threats. @MilesTaylorUSA recalls how the WH wanted to fire the former top DHS intel official, David Glawe, in Sept 2018, because Glawe agreed w/the IC's assessment about Russia's activities.
Read 4 tweets
3 Sep
NEW investigation: A Russian living in the US and awaiting an asylum decision was targeted by ICE & detained for 1.5 years because of a Russian Red Notice that experts say was so incomplete and riddled w/inaccuracies that it was nearly incomprehensible. politico.com/news/2020/09/0…
Red Notices, including from authoritarian regimes known to abuse the process, like Russia, China and Venezuela, are increasingly being used by US immigration authorities to target immigrants, supplement offenses like visa overstays, & justify prolonged detention and deportation.
“At what point does the U.S. become a willing participant in Russia’s persecution of dissidents?” asked one public defender, calling the root of the problem on the American side “a combination of general incompetence, and a bias by the immigration courts against granting asylum"
Read 4 tweets
29 Aug
CONFIRMED: ODNI told congressional officials that it will still provide written briefings on election security, but that they should not expect verbal in-person briefings on the topic, which give members an opportunity to ask questions & challenge briefers politico.com/news/2020/08/2…
MORE: ODNI decided to scale back the briefings because classified material from recent briefings leaked out. "We are concerned about unauthorized disclosures of sensitive information following recent briefings," per a statement provided first to @politico.
Sensitive information from written products can still be leaked, of course. But this new arrangement would prevent the kind of back and forth between members and national security officials that led to stories like this: politico.com/news/2020/07/3…
Read 6 tweets
18 Aug
JUST OUT: Volume 5 of the Senate Intelligence Committee's Russia report, focused on counterintelligence threats and vulnerabilities. It's 966 pages long. intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/…
Here's a summary of a document about that Michael Flynn sent to KT McFarland in January 2017 that "originated with a close associate of a Kremlin insider," per the committee, and that the WH counsel's office wanted to withhold, citing executive privilege. ImageImage
"As this experience illustrated, White House intervention significantly hampered and prolonged the Committee's investigative effort," report says. "Most importantly, some witnesses were directed by the White House not to tum over potentially privileged information..." Image
Read 19 tweets
31 Jul
NEWS: Pelosi admonished top counterintel official Evanina during private briefing this a.m., accusing him of withholding info about Russia. Evanina ultimately acknowledged that Russia is trying to boost Trump’s reelection; Dems want him to say it publicly. politico.com/news/2020/07/3…
Asked for comment, an ODNI official said that "Unlike some, we don’t comment on the content of classified briefings," but said Evanina was “quite clear that the intel community will continue to update the American public ... on threats to the election and steps for mitigation.”
During the private briefing Evanina said he expected Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe to reveal more about the Russians' activity during the Worldwide Threats hearing, but whether that hearing will even happen is still in doubt. politico.com/news/2020/07/3…
Read 4 tweets

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