One White House official said Trump is attuned to the electoral importance of Florida in November, giving added weight to the arguments DeSantis has made to the administration that his state’s economy should reopen as soon as possible.
“The president knows Florida is so important for his reelection, so when DeSantis says that, it means a lot,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be frank. “He pays close attention to what Florida wants.”
March 31, 2020
New York Times
The acting director of national intelligence imposed a hiring freeze and ordered a review of the agency’s personnel and mission, officials announced Thursday, an effort that some intelligence officers viewed as politically motivated.
Though some Republicans have viewed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence skeptically and sought to scale it back, the timing of the review by the acting director, Richard Grenell — after President Trump’s downsizing of the National Security Council staff — caused concern inside the nation’s intelligence agencies. Some current and former officials said they saw the effort as an attempt to oust intelligence officers who disagreed politically with Mr. Trump.
Those officials questioned why Mr. Grenell, in the job temporarily, would undertake a large-scale reorganization, particularly one that previous directors had considered but put aside. Mr. Trump has nominated Representative John Ratcliffe, Republican of Texas, for the director post, though the Senate has not set a date for his confirmation hearing. […]
The proposals remain in early stages, though Mr. Grenell has signaled that he wants to move quickly because his time in office is limited.
Kashyap Patel, an aide in the director’s office who was transferred last month from the White House, is involved in the review, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Patel was a former aide to Representative Devin Nunes, Republican of California, who has long argued that the intelligence office should be pared back.
March 12, 2020