Top White House security official Crede Bailey hospitalized with COVID-19

WASHINGTON – The head of the White House security office is gravely ill with COVID-19 and has been hospitalized since September, a White House official has confirmed.

Pres. Trump says catching COVID-19 ‘a blessing from God,’ touting experimental drugs

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Crede Bailey leads the office in charge of credentialing people for access to the White House and works closely with the Secret Service, according to Bloomberg, which was the first to report his illness Wednesday.

According to Bloomberg, Bailey got sick before the Sept. 26 Rose Garden event, where Trump announced his pick of Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court. Several people who attended that event, including President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, have tested positive for COVID-19.

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Trump returned to the White House Monday after spending three days in the hospital to receive treatments for COVID-19.



a man wearing a suit and tie: How President Trump's COVID-19 treatment compares to what an average Americans can receive


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How President Trump’s COVID-19 treatment compares to what an average Americans can receive

Shortly after Trump was released from the hospital, he released a video message touting the care he received and downplaying the severity of the virus.

“Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it. You’re going to beat it,” Trump said in a video posted to his Twitter account Monday night, echoing a message he embraced earlier in the day that drew fire from critics who noted presidents receive the best care possible.

A growing list of White House officials have also tested positive for the virus, including senior White House aide Stephen Miller and Hope Hicks and press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

White House coronavirus outbreak: Thousands may have been exposed from Atlanta to Minnesota

In addition, most of the nation’s top military leaders have been quarantining after coming in contact with a senior officer with COVID-19, according to the Pentagon.

The military’s top two officers, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Air Force Gen. John Hyten, along with service chiefs from the Army, Navy and Air Force, are in quarantine after meeting last week with the officer, Adm. Charles Ray, the No. 2 officer at the Coast Guard.

A second officer, Marine Gen. Gary Thomas, the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, has also tested positive. Thomas is experiencing mild symptoms, but otherwise is feeling well, according to a statement Wednesday from the Marine Corps.

Contributing: Tom Vanden Brook

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Top White House security official Crede Bailey hospitalized with COVID-19

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White House Security Official Contracted Covid-19 in September

(Bloomberg) — A top White House security official, Crede Bailey, is gravely ill with Covid-19 and has been hospitalized since September, according to four people familiar with his condition.



The White House stands in Washington, D.C., U.S. on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. President Donald Trump stunned campaign advisers and allies in Congress by single-handedly torpedoing any chance of a fresh coronavirus stimulus, saddling himself with the blame for any more layoffs and market losses in the final weeks before the election.


© Bloomberg
The White House stands in Washington, D.C., U.S. on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. President Donald Trump stunned campaign advisers and allies in Congress by single-handedly torpedoing any chance of a fresh coronavirus stimulus, saddling himself with the blame for any more layoffs and market losses in the final weeks before the election.

The White House has not publicly disclosed Bailey’s illness. He became sick before the Sept. 26 Rose Garden event President Donald Trump held to announce his Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett that has been connected to more than a dozen cases of the disease.

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A White House spokesman declined to comment on Bailey. He is in charge of the White House security office, which handles credentialing for access to the White House and works closely with the U.S. Secret Service on security measures throughout the compound.

A career federal employee who has seldom appeared in the news, Bailey was swept up in a controversy last year over security clearances granted to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law Jared Kushner. Bailey privately testified to the House Oversight Committee that he didn’t face pressure from others at the White House to grant clearances, according to a report by The Hill.

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White House security official reported to be gravely ill with COVID-19

A White House security official is reportedly “gravely ill” after contracting COVID-19 in September, Bloomberg reports.

The publication identified the official as Crede Bailey, who heads the White House’s security office. He has reportedly been receiving hospital care since September.

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.

According to Bloomberg, which cited four sources familiar with official’s condition, Bailey grew sick before the Rose Garden event held on Sept. 26, in which President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump and Biden’s plans would both add to the debt, analysis finds Trump says he will back specific relief measures hours after halting talks Trump lashes out at FDA over vaccine guidelines MORE nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Since that event, more than 10 attendees — including the president, first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpDemocratic Rep. Carbajal tests positive for COVID-19 Biden: ‘We shouldn’t have’ second debate if Trump still has COVID-19 Overnight Defense: Top military officers quarantine after positive COVID case | Distracted pilot, tech issues led to F-35 crash MORE and adviser Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayOvernight Defense: Top military officers quarantine after positive COVID case | Distracted pilot, tech issues led to F-35 crash CDC director says it’s safe for Pence to take part in debate Fourth White House press aide tests positive for COVID-19 MORE — have tested positive for the disease. However, the White House is not contact tracing attendees of the event, according to a report from The New York Times, which cited an unnamed White House official for its coverage earlier this week.

The Trump administration has been coming under increased scrutiny in recent days for its protocols to counter the spread of the coronavirus as the number cases of White House staff contracting the illness continue to climb.

White House senior adviser Stephen MillerStephen MillerStephen Miller tests positive for COVID-19 Pence ordered the closure of US borders against CDC’s wishes: report Trump aide Hope Hicks tests positive for COVID-19 MORE became one of the president’s latest aides to test positive for COVID-19 this week. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has also contracted the illness, in addition to several others in the White House press department. 

White House adviser Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksOvernight Defense: Top military officers quarantine after positive COVID case | Distracted pilot, tech issues led to F-35 crash Stephen Miller tests positive for COVID-19 Military officers quarantined as top Coast Guard official tests positive for COVID-19 MORE was also confirmed to have positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, shortly before it was discovered the president and the first lady had also been diagnosed with the disease.

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House Democrat accuses Ratcliffe of politicizing election security intelligence

Rep. Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinOvernight Defense: Congress recommends nuclear arms treaty be extended | Dems warn Turkey | Military’s eighth COVID death identified Bipartisan congressional task force recommends extending nuclear treaty with Russia Wray: Racially motivated violent extremism makes up most of FBI’s domestic terrorism cases MORE (D-Mich.) on Wednesday accused Director of National Intelligence John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeDemocrats demand DHS release report warning of election interference Democrat asks intelligence director if Trump’s personal debt is security problem Comey defends FBI Russia probe from GOP criticism MORE of politicizing election security intelligence on behalf of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump and Biden’s plans would both add to the debt, analysis finds Trump says he will back specific relief measures hours after halting talks Trump lashes out at FDA over vaccine guidelines MORE and urged him to take a number of steps to improve transparency.

Slotkin, a former CIA officer and former special assistant to the director of national intelligence, pointed to serious concerns over Ratcliffe’s decision last month to declassify a letter citing unverified Russian intelligence that claimed former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonChance the Rapper, Demi Lovato to play digital concert to encourage voting New York Times editorial board endorses Biden The Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by Facebook – Trump resumes maskless COVID-19 recovery at White House MORE approved a plan to “stir up scandal” against President Trump during her 2016 presidential campaign.

“Recently, you declassified information—which the Intelligence Community cannot corroborate—as part of an apparent effort to undermine the past assessments of nonpolitical career intelligence analysts,” Slotkin wrote in a letter to Ratcliffe on Wednesday. “Press reports indicate that you released this information despite concerns from the leadership of both the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency.”

Slotkin noted that “the uncorroborated claims, which you hastily briefed to Republican Senators on September 29, were subsequently repeated by the President during the first presidential debate in a further attack on the patriotic, hard-working women and men of the Intelligence Community which you lead.”

Ratcliffe and other intelligence officials have been involved in briefing members of Congress in recent months about election threats. One senior official at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) assessed in August that Russia, China, and Iran were actively interfering in U.S. elections. 

Slotkin cited classified information on election security threats in sharply criticizing Ratcliffe and the intelligence community for “drawing false equivalency” between threats from the three countries, accusing Ratcliffe of “seeking to bolster a future case by President Trump, if he loses, that Chinese interference caused his loss.”

“I am intimately familiar with your obligation to provide unvarnished, fact-based analysis to senior policy officials,” Slotkin wrote. “Your actions appear intent at distracting from the primary threat to our democratic process posed by Russia, and instead amplifying claims about China’s influence efforts.”

Slotkin noted that public statements by Ratcliffe and the ODNI did “not accurately reflect” information given to members of Congress during an Oct.

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U.S. Targets Only One Percent of Chinese Students Over Security: White House Official | World News

By David Brunnstrom and Matt Spetalnick

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is targeting only about one percent of the 400,000 Chinese students in the United States over China’s bid to gather U.S. technology and other information, a top White House said official said on Wednesday.

Matt Pottinger, the deputy White House national security adviser who has been a leading figure in the development of President Donald Trump’s China policy, said the vast majority of Chinese students were welcome.

“It’s a surgical approach,” Pottinger said in a online event hosted by the Ronald Reagan Institute, referring to the administration’s policy of denying student visas to Chinese nationals it considers a security risk.

“President Trump has taken action to target roughly one percent of that massive number, to target military-affiliated Chinese researchers who are in some cases here under false pretenses or even false identities,” he said.

Other cases involve individuals who have come to the United States to gain access to “technologies that would be useful to Chinese military advancement or to the repression of their own people,” he added.

Pottinger said the overwhelming majority of Chinese students were “people that we’re glad to have here, and many will stay here and start great businesses.”

The U.S. action against Chinese students has come at a time when China-U.S. relations have sunk to the lowest point in decades in the run-up to Trump’s Nov. 3 re-election bid. The world’s two biggest economies have clashed over issues ranging from trade and human rights to Hong Kong and the coronavirus.

The U.S. State Department said this month the United States had revoked visas of more than 1,000 Chinese students and researchers deemed security risks. China called this a violation of human rights.

Washington said the action followed a May 29 proclamation by Trump in response to China’s curbs on democracy in Hong Kong.

The large number of Chinese students studying in the United States bring significant revenue to U.S. universities, although the COVID-19 pandemic severely disrupted returns to campus this fall.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Michael Perry)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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House Intel Committee Chairman Schiff announces subpoenas in Homeland Security whistleblower probe

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff announced subpoenas Tuesday for documents and testimony from the Department of Homeland Security as part of the committee’s whistleblower investigation.

Brian Murphy alleged that officials pressured him to downplay information on Russian influence and the threat represented by White supremacists. The complaint also alleges that Murphy was retaliated against and demoted.

Schiff accused the DHS and Joseph B. Maher, the head of its Office of Intelligence and Analysis, of “effectively blocking the whistleblower from testifying” and failing to provide documents.

DHS has denied the allegations in both the complaint and from Schiff.

WOLF TAKES AIM AT ‘FABRICATED’ COMPLAINTS, REPORTS AT CONFIRMATION HEARING

“The whistleblower complaint from Mr. Murphy is patently false, it’s a fabrication, completely,” acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf said at a Senate confirmation hearing last week.

He said Murphy was reassigned because of allegations he abused his authority by personally directing the collection of information on U.S. journalists.

In this March 3, photo House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Schiff said Tuesday, Sept. 29, that he will subpoena the Department of Homeland Security after a department whistleblower wasn’t allowed access to documents and clearance he needs to testify. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

In this March 3, photo House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Schiff said Tuesday, Sept. 29, that he will subpoena the Department of Homeland Security after a department whistleblower wasn’t allowed access to documents and clearance he needs to testify. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

In a letter to Maher, Schiff wrote that Murphy’s lawyers had not been granted temporary security clearances by the DHS that would allow them to work on his deposition in the case, which the committee said it has repeatedly been forced to delay.

“The Committee will no longer tolerate the obstruction and attempts to run out the clock by the Department,” Schiff said in a statement.

The subpoenas aim to force the DHS to hand over records related to an ongoing whistleblower probe and to compel Maher to testify under oath.

ADAM SCHIFF URGES ‘GOOD CONSCIENCE’ REPUBLICANS IN TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO STEP DOWN: ‘IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO RESIGN’

The DHS denied that it was “stonewalling” the committee and said in a statement that the subpoenas amounted to “obvious political theater.”

DHS said it produced “nearly 3,000 pages of documents” in addition to other materials for the House committee.

The subpoenas are seeking an Oct. 6 deadline for DHS to hand over the documents and testimony from Maher on Oct. 2.

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“The Committee has a responsibility to independently investigate and substantiate Mr. Murphy’s serious allegations, and you and your office have a legal obligation to comply,” Schiff wrote to Maher. “The allegations, as the Committee has underscored repeatedly, fall squarely within the Committee’s legislative jurisdiction and strike at the heart of the Committee’s constitutional oversight responsibility.”

Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.

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Garden Grove approves $1.8M contract outsourcing jail security service to G4S

Garden Grove is switching its jail security services from one private company to another.

On Tuesday night, the City Council approved a $1,815,556.69 three-year contract with G4S Secure Solutions USA, Inc., a large private security firm with offices in more than a hundred countries and a controversial past uncovered in a 2019 news investigation.

Starting in June 2000, the city had contracted GEO Group, Inc. to provide 24-hour jail booking services for the police department. Although the council renewed a three-year contract with that company in 2019, the police department received notice that GEO is ending jail operations in California and will terminate the contract on Nov. 1.

GEO is a private prison firm that owns and operates two ICE facilities, three prisons and two detention facilities in California. This year the state planned to end two contracts with GEO for two prisons after Assembly Bill 32, a law barring renewal of contracts with private prisons, went into effect on Jan. 1.

Lt. Brian Dalton of the Garden Grove Police Department said Tuesday, “On average it takes police officers approximately two hours to handle a prisoner through the entire booking process. Using the GEO contract services, this processing time has been reduced to approximately 15 minutes, allowing police officers to return to the field more quickly.”

Dalton also said over recent years the amount of crime has increased along with arrests made by the police department. In 2019, officers made 7,575 arrests for felony and misdemeanor crimes compared to 5,619 arrests in 2014.

Garden Grove city staff recommended “piggybacking” on the existing jail services contract between Westminster and G4S approved in March 2020.

G4S offered to hire the 10 current GEO employees working in Garden Grove’s jail located in the police department building at 11301 Acacia Parkway.

The 10 custody workers would have to pass an updated preemployment screening. According to a service document compiled by G4S, the screening includes identity verification through Social Security, a variety of criminal searches, a review of seven years of employment, unemployment or education, a driver’s license check, drug screening, a physical exam and a psychological evaluation. G4S is also responsible for annual training.

G4S activities include security for concerts, shopping malls, banks, prisons and healthcare facilities. The company’s career page shows about 17 jobs — mostly security, detention or custody officers — available across Orange County.

According to a G4S spokesperson, the company provides jail support services to 15 Southern California police departments throughout Los Angeles San Bernardino and Orange counties including local cities Irvine, Buena Park, Fullerton, La Habra, Westminster and Costa Mesa.

“Our longest local partnership dates back to 1992 with the city of Irvine and the Irvine Police Department. G4S is proud to partner and support these communities with qualified security officers so local police forces can focus on public safety,” stated the G4S spokesperson through email.

USA Today and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigated the security company and published a report in late 2019 that found a pattern

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White House ‘pressured official to say John Bolton book was security risk’



a person holding a sign: Photograph: Alex Brandon/AP


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Photograph: Alex Brandon/AP

A former National Security Council official who while working there reviewed John Bolton’s memoir for classified information before publication, has claimed that White House lawyers tried to pressure her into signing misleading statements to prevent the publication ofthe book.

The allegations come a week after the US Department of Justice launched a criminal investigation into whether Bolton, the former national security adviser, mishandled classified information in his book, The Room Where It Happened. Highly critical of Trump, the book was a bestseller when it was published in June, selling 780,000 copies in its first week.

In a letter filed in federal court in Washington on Wednesday, lawyers for Ellen Knight, the former senior director for records, access and information security management at the NSC, said that her prepublication review of Bolton’s book had actually cleared it in April.

According to the letter, Knight and her colleagues spent “hundreds of hours over the course of four months reviewing and researching information found in the over 500-page manuscript”.

Initially, they found the manuscript “contained voluminous amounts of classified information and that it would take a significant effort to put it into publishable shape”. But after a four-month consultation described as “regular, intensive and occasionally spirited”, Knight’s team determined that the “heavily revised” manuscript “would disclose no information that would cause harm to our national security”.

But Knight’s lawyers allege that White House officials then conducted their own review of Bolton’s revised manuscript and claimed it still contained classified information, in a process that Knight called “fundamentally flawed”. Knight alleges that the officials then tried “to get her to admit that she and her team had missed something or made a mistake”, which could be used to support their argument to block publication.



a person holding a sign: A copy of The Room Where It Happened outside the White House.


© Photograph: Alex Brandon/AP
A copy of The Room Where It Happened outside the White House.

Knight then declined to sign a declaration saying that Bolton’s book still contained classified information, intended to be filed in the lawsuit against Bolton. Despite efforts from what she described as “a rotating cast of Justice Department and White House attorneys … over the course of five days and a total of 18 hours of meetings”, she refused.

“Ms Knight asked the attorneys how it could be appropriate that a designedly apolitical process had been commandeered by political appointees for a seemingly political purpose. She asked them to explain why they were so insistent on pursuing litigation rather than resolving the potential national security issues through engagement with Ambassador Bolton and her team,” the letter reads. “The attorneys had no answer for her challenges, aside from a rote recitation of the government’s legal position that Ambassador Bolton had violated his contractual obligations by failing to wait for written clearance.”

The letter claims that when Knight “speculated that this litigation was happening ‘because the most powerful man in the world said that it needed to happen’, several registered their agreement with that diagnosis of the situation”.

Knight

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House Homeland Security Hearing Examines Worldwide Threats

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (announces that he will issue a subpoena to compel acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to testify before beginning a hearing about ‘worldwide threats to the homeland’ in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill September 17, 2020 in Washington, DC. An August Government Accountability Office report found that Wolf’s appointment by the Trump Administration, which has regularly skirted the Senate confirmation process, was invalid and a violation of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. Pool Photo by Chip Somodevilla/UPI

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House passes legislation to boost election security research

The House on Wednesday unanimously passed bipartisan legislation intended to boost research into the security of election infrastructure. 

The Election Technology Research Act would establish and fund a Center of Excellence in Election Systems at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to test the security and accessibility of voting equipment, along with authorizing NIST and the National Science Foundation to carry out research on further securing voting technology. 

The bill is primarily sponsored by Reps. Mikie SherrillRebecca (Mikie) Michelle SherrillLawmakers call for bipartisan push to support scientific research The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Presidential race tightens in key states The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Trump encouraged to call for calm during Wisconsin visit MORE (D-N.J.) and Anthony GonzalezAnthony GonzalezEx-NFL receiver Rep. Anthony Gonzalez: Big Ten skipping football season could be ‘catastrophic’ for athletes Eyes on the prize: Testing to end the coronavirus lockdown House GOP to launch China probes beyond COVID-19 MORE (R-Ohio), along with House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairwoman Eddie Bernice JohnsonEddie Bernice JohnsonHillicon Valley: Twitter flags Trump campaign tweet of Biden clip as manipulated media | Democrats demand in-person election security briefings resume | Proposed rules to protect power grid raise concerns Lawmakers call for bipartisan push to support scientific research The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Trump encouraged to call for calm during Wisconsin visit MORE (D-Texas), ranking member Frank LucasFrank Dean LucasProtecting COVID research at American universities from foreign hackers Hillicon Valley: Facebook removed over 22 million posts for hate speech in second quarter | Republicans introduce bill to defend universities against hackers targeting COVID-19 research | Facebook’s Sandberg backs Harris as VP pick Republicans introduce bill to defend universities conducting coronavirus research against hackers MORE (R-Okla.) and almost a dozen other bipartisan sponsors. 

Sherrill said on the House floor Wednesday that it was “incumbent” on Congress to pass legislation enhancing election security in the wake of increasing concerns around election interference efforts.

“Amidst a global pandemic, targeted attacks on our democracy by our adversaries and political unrest, Americans deserve to know that our elections are secure,” Sherrill said. 

The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee approved the bill last year. Both Johnson and Lucas spoke in the bill’s favor on the House floor, with Johnson arguing the bill was necessary “to help modernize and secure our election systems and ensure they are accessible to all.”

“The security and integrity of elections is fundamental to American democracy, and should not be a partisan issue,” Lucas added. 

Rep. Zoe LofgrenZoe Ellen LofgrenHillicon Valley: Twitter flags Trump campaign tweet of Biden clip as manipulated media | Democrats demand in-person election security briefings resume | Proposed rules to protect power grid raise concerns Democrats demand Ratcliffe resume in-person congressional election security briefings Democrats accuse Barr of helping Trump distract from coronavirus MORE (D-Calif.), chair of the House Administration Committee with jurisdiction over federal elections, issued a statement expressing support for passage of the legislation

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