Trump disputes Russian interference in 2016 election

by Antonio Miles June 23, 2017, 3:57
Trump disputes Russian interference in 2016 election

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also warned the administration that "he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics".

The federal government offered cybersecurity assistance to state and local entities during the 2016 election, but they resisted the help, President Obama's Homeland Security secretary testified Wednesday. Intelligence officials confirmed as early as past year that Russian Federation had engaged in malicious cyber activity to assist in Donald Trump's election, including hacking into and leaking Democratic National Committee emails.

The testimony was grim from the Senate Intelligence Committee's second panel, which included state elections officials and a computer science expert who described the vulnerability from which he said electronic voting systems suffer.

They say "both parties have committed to keeping an open dialogue".

Separately, acting FBI director Andrew McCabe told the House Appropriations Committee he is confident that Mueller is receiving the resources he needs for the investigation.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether any laws were broken in relation to the Russian attack.

The committee's ranking Democrat, Sen.

She also criticized Homeland Security for not revealing a cyberattack last fall on at least one US voting software supplier by Russian military intelligence, an operation revealed this month by the Intercept, a website that specializes in national security issues.

The House and Senate Intelligence committees held hearings on June 22 to highlight the ongoing vulnerability of the USA election systems.

"In 2016 the Russian government, at the direction of Vladimir Putin himself, orchestrated cyberattacks on our nation for the objective of influencing our election".

Mr Johnson also said Russian hacking did not change election totals, but he can not be sure other meddling did not influence public opinion.

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Johnson served as DHS secretary from December 2013 to January 2017. Haas said Wisconsin was among states that accepted the agency's offer to do a cyber-scan of its elections system. As a result, some 122 local election offices received phishing emails.

One state official also criticized the federal government for not sharing enough information about the hacking. "Former Homeland Security Advisor Jeh Johnson is latest top intelligence official to state there was no grand scheme between Trump & Russia", the president tweeted.

Johnson's testimony on Russian intrusion is consistent with the assessment of several US intelligence agencies, including the FBI, CIA and National Security Agency. The intrusion, Johnson said, was "a fact, plain and simple". South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy asked Johnson at one point in the hearing.

Mueller took over the Russian Federation probe in May after Trump fired Comey.

In retrospect, Johnson said he wished "he had camped out with a sleeping bag" in front of the Democratic National Committee to get them to take seriously warnings that their email server had been hacked.

October 10, 2016: "But I notice, anytime anything wrong happens, they like to say the Russians are - she doesn't know if it's the Russians doing the hacking".

The Senate committee was hearing from officials at the Homeland Security Department and the FBI's counterintelligence division.

Specifically, Johnson was questioned about whether the DHS helped the DNC after learning about possible Russian hacking. He said the "scale and aggressiveness" was different this time, with the primary goal being to sow discord and aid the candidacy of Republican Donald Trump, the eventual victor.

"We have evidence of. election-related systems in 21 states were targeted", she said.

In the run-up to the 2016 election, the Russians probed online voter registration systems in 21 states, government officials told Congress on Wednesday.

Jeannette Manfra, a cybersecurity official at the Department of Homeland Security, said the decentralized nature of USA elections means that an attempt to penetrate state systems and change results would be "virtually impossible" to accomplish without being detected.

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