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U.S. agency defends decision to withhold report on Russian claims about Biden's health

Politics Sep 02, 2020 07:45PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden holds campaign event in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

By Mark Hosenball and Ted Hesson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Wednesday defended its decision to withhold circulation of an intelligence report warning that Russia was trying to portray Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden as mentally unstable.

A draft of the report, headlined "Russia Likely to Denigrate Health of US Candidates to Influence 2020 Election," was submitted to the agency's legislative and public affairs office on July 7, according to ABC News, which first reported the matter.

Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf told Fox News on Wednesday that the agency held up the memo because it lacked necessary context and was "very poorly written." Wolf said both he and career DHS officials had raised questions about the report and that it would be rewritten.

"I'm going to continue to do my job (and) make sure that the information coming out of the department is first rate," Wolf said.

The draft bulletin reported that Russian state media RT, Sputnik and a Russian proxy website between September 2019 and May 2020 posted allegations about "the poor mental health of 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden."

The draft bulletin cited the proxy website as saying his verbal miscues were symptoms of dementia and not a stutter as reported in U.S. media. Biden, 77, has acknowledged he has been affected by a stutter since childhood.

The bulletin also said that Iranian and Chinese media had published materials questioning the mental health of Republican President Donald Trump, who is 74.

The assertions that Russia, China and Iran planned to interfere in the U.S. elections in November paralleled broad findings made public in late July by U.S. counterintelligence chief William Evanina, which did not mention Russian claims about Biden's health.

U.S. agency defends decision to withhold report on Russian claims about Biden's health
 

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Comments (6)
Kyle Van
Kyle Van Sep 03, 2020 3:17AM ET
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of course they are, you see it all over social media. Manipulated videos to make Biden look like he is slurring his speech. Russia wants to weaken the United States which is exactly what you get with a trump re-election . it's in their best interest
James Marshall
James Marshall Sep 03, 2020 12:57AM ET
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lol, just listen to him speak. Clearly something is wrong. I could careless about either side.
Andrew carson
Andrew carson Sep 02, 2020 9:06PM ET
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Of course they do 🥴
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Sep 02, 2020 8:57PM ET
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Trump supporters r saying it not russian. The report probly wriiten by an high schooler.
Pres Biden
Pres Biden Sep 02, 2020 8:01PM ET
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tRump daily lies, cover-ups, racist attacks and injecting disinfectants... True American, mentally stable President Joe Biden is going to LOCK Racist, Mentally Deranged TRUMP UP.
Water Bender
Water Bender Sep 02, 2020 8:01PM ET
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I see you are a CNN junkie. Do yourself a favor and reach out to some sources where you can get the facts
Hue Jazz
Hue Jazz Sep 02, 2020 4:26PM ET
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Don’t need Russia to tell that ol Joe is off his rockers.
Marty Cohen
Marty Cohen Sep 02, 2020 4:26PM ET
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and we have all seen Trump get crazier and more paranoid like a dictator.
Andrew carson
Andrew carson Sep 02, 2020 4:26PM ET
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Hi I'm Joe Biden 🥴😳🤯😵
 
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