Grenell said he is only temporarily holding the position of acting director of the American espionage agencies, but is already making his mark. Grenell, a loyalist to President Donald Trump, also continues to serve as a U.S. ambassador to Germany. After his appointment to replace intelligence this week, officials from the office of the director of national intelligence (ODNI) telephoned U.S. diplomats in Germany asking for information about Grenell’s leadership style, two sources who were familiar with the matter. told to CNN.
There are fears within the intelligence community that Hallman may not be the only official maximum to be expelled. Career intelligence professionals fear that Shelby Pierson, the head of intelligence assessment for election security with ODNI, will be relocated from his position, according to a former intelligence official.
Pierson is highly regarded and viewed as a non-partisan by colleagues in the intelligence community who know her confident and experienced in the work she does. She is not afraid of making difficult calls and fiercely defending her analysis when tested, colleagues say.
Pierson has been holding briefings for senior leaders for years and her experience and preparation shows, said a former intelligence officer who worked with her.
During the recent briefing in the House, she addressed a series of questions from lawmakers who were trying to indicate whether intelligence showed a Russian preference for Trump, and eventually gave up on giving her insight into what intelligence has shown, a family source the matter said. It’s the kind of situation that intelligence preparers are prepared to avoid, the source said, in part to keep partisan controversies from happening.
The response he gave was misunderstood because the context and nuance are missing, the source said.
Pierson is still at work, according to sources with knowledge of his status. He did not respond to a request for comment.
He led the recent briefing to the House Intelligence Committee in which intelligence assessment of Russia seeking to interfere in this year’s elections to help Trump was revealed.
Trump said on Friday that he was looking at four people as an option to officially nominate for the job at the intelligence office.