U.S. security chiefs: our country is in Russian crosshairs

U.S. security chiefs: our country is in Russian crosshairs

After painting a scary picture of Russian Federation conducting a "pervasive messaging campaign... to try to weaken and divide the USA", and "undermine our democratic values", Coats acknowledged that it's "not the kind of robust campaign that we assessed in the 2016 election".

President Donald Trump on Thursday defended his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin last month and decried the "Russian hoax", speaking at a rally just hours removed from his top national security officials decrying Russian attempts to influence USA elections. "We also know the Russians tried to hack into and steal information from candidates and government officials alike".

But Coats, Bolton, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and the director of the National Security Agency, Paul Nakasone, said Russian Federation was to blame, along with other foreign actors.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told reporters that: "The intelligence community continues to be concerned, both about the midterms and the 2020 presidential election".

"This is a threat that we need to take extremely seriously".

The stunning claim was made during a White House briefing following a meeting between Trump and his National Security Council over Russian actions.

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Only weeks ago in Helsinki, Finland, Trump did not confront Russian President Vladimir Putin about election interference and said Putin gave strong denials of interference, which he believed.

The President has publicly voiced scepticism about Russia's role in U.S. election meddling, drawing accusations from Democrats and Republicans alike that he was ignoring a threat to American democracy.

A slew of top USA officials including Coats, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen vowed to investigate and prosecute those who were trying to sway USA opinion or carrying out what Wray described as "information warfare".

"The president has said other people also may have been involved in the efforts to interfere with the 2016 election", Karl said.

Though the media chose to report the pages as possibly related to Russia, Facebook was careful to note they can not make the attribution - which is somewhat unusual, given its Atlantic Council partners' inclination to see Russian influence everywhere. "They want us to distrust and defeat each other.' And if that was their goal, and I believe that it was, I believe they have been very effective", he said. State and county officials have complained, however, that they lack money and time to make voting systems more secure. John Cornyn of Texas, said, "I'm confident we're doing the best we can".

Stewart said when he made his predictions, he was asked about who he thought Russian Federation wanted to win the election.

'It's not unreasonable. If I return something to a department store, if I have to cash a check I have to show my ID in order do those things, ' she said.

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