DHS withheld intelligence bulletin calling out Russian attack on Biden’s mental

In a draft of the bulletin obtained by the network titled “Russia Likely to Denigrate Health of US Candidates to Influence 2020 Election,” analysts said with “high confidence” that “Russian malign influence actors are likely to continue denigrating presidential candidates through allegations of poor mental or physical health to influence the outcome of the 2020 election,” according to ABC News. The bulletin also raised efforts by China and Iran to criticize President Donald Trump, the network reported.

The bulletin was submitted July 7 to the DHS legislative and public affairs office for review and, according to emails obtained by ABC News, was to be distributed to state, federal and local law enforcement, but not to the public, on July 9. Emails also show, according to the network, that DHS Chief of Staff John Gountanis stopped the bulletin from being sent out.

“Please hold on sending this one out until you have a chance to speak to [acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf],” Gountanis wrote, ABC News reported.

CNN has reached out to DHS for comment.

News of the blocked intelligence bulletin comes nearly two months before the 2020 presidential election and amid concern over Russian interference in the election.

In August, US intelligence officials presented information to lawmakers and presidential campaigns signaling that Russia is behind an ongoing disinformation push targeting the former vice president. William R. Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center and the US intelligence community’s top election security official, also said in August that Russia is working to “denigrate” former Biden’s White House bid and China “prefers” an outcome where Trump is not reelected.

Read More: DHS withheld intelligence bulletin calling out Russian attack on Biden’s mental

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