Russia Is ‘Keyboard Click’ From Major Election Hack, Coats Warns

Russia Is ‘Keyboard Click’ From Major Election Hack, Coats Warns

Russia Is ‘Keyboard Click’ From Major Election Hack, Coats Warns

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 United States elections.

"We continue to see a pervasive messaging campaign by Russian Federation to try to weaken and divide the United States", said Coats, while noting that Russia's efforts on the 2018 midterms are "not the kind of robust campaign we assessed during the 2016 election".

Coats and Nielsen were joined by Director of the National Security Agency Gen. Paul Nakasone, National Security Adviser John Bolton, and Federal Bureau of Investigation director Christopher Wray.

"Our top intelligence officials have repeatedly warned that #Putin continues to target our elections & sow chaos", he tweeted.

Karl also pointed to President Trump's claims that the Russians would attempt to boost Democrats in the midterms and questioned if there "has been any evidence whatsoever that".

Separately, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters that the Pentagon was also assisting in efforts to safeguard U.S. elections.

United States intelligence agencies have found that Russian Federation in 2016 launched an effort to hurt Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and ultimately to help Trump win.

But Nielsen said that US agencies have "seen a willingness and a capability on the part of the Russians" to attack USA election infrastructure.

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Coats appeared with National Security Adviser John Bolton, FBI Director John Wray, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and National Security Agency Director Paul Nakasone.

"We have an opportunity to use our voice in a very different way than those in Ukraine", Parkhomenko said.

The illegal activity included criminal efforts to suppress voting and provide illegal campaign financing, cyber attacks against voting infrastructure, along with computer intrusions targeting elected officials and others, U.S. officials said.

Right before the briefing began, the White House released a letter Bolton sent to Senate Democrats about election interference.

FBI Director Chris Wray added Russian Federation was using "traditional intelligence trade craft" and computer hacking to try and influence USA elections.

"It's important to understand", Wray cautioned, "this is not just an election-cycle threat".

"The bottom line for election security is to make sure that we have paper ballots and that we have audits after the election to pick up on whether there were any risks" to election results, Wyden told reporters.

He added that agencies were meeting weekly to focus on election security ahead of the mid-term elections in November when most of the US Congress faces the voters. He added that while Russian Federation has attempted to influence campaigns in the past, "they stepped up their game in 2016".

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