Trump national security adviser never sought to dictate intel community's focus - spokeswoman

FILE PHOTO: National Security adviser Robert O'Brien speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien never sought to dictate the intelligence community’s focus on threats to the integrity of U.S. elections or on any other topic, White House spokeswoman Sarah Matthews said on Wednesday.

Matthews was responding to a whistleblower complaint filed by a former top Department of Homeland Security official who said he was told to stop providing assessments of the threat of Russian interference in the election at the behest of O’Brien.

Matthews said the suggestion that O’Brien sought to dictate the focus of the intelligence-gathering work done by the department was “false and defamatory.”

Reporting by Alexandra Alper and Andrea Shalal; Editing by Chris Reese