Foreign Influence Investigations Spanning U.S. to Confront Election Threat

Posted August 03, 2018

The DNI chief joined Sarah Huckabee Sanders for her White House press briefing today, and they were accompanied by FBI Director Chris Wray, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, National Security director John Bolton, and other top members of the intelligence community.

The White House says President Donald Trump has directed a "vast, government-wide effort" to protect American elections after Russian attempts to interfere in 2016.

Coats: "In regards to Russian involvement in the midterm elections, we continue to see a pervasive messaging campaign by Russia to try to weaken and divide the United States ..."

"We will continue to monitor and warn of any such efforts".

That effort includes three pillars: 1) investigations and operations; 2) information and intelligence sharing, working with global partners to combat threats; and 3) establish strong relationships with the private sector, providing actionable intelligence to technology companies, and meeting with top social media executives "so they can better monitor their own platforms".

Ms Nielsen said: "Our democracy itself is in the crosshairs". Stewart added Trump was wrong when he sided more with Putin than the US intelligence community about Russian interference in elections, and wishes his corrections were more forceful.

"We also know the Russians tried to hack into and steal information from candidates and government officials alike", Mr Coats said.

In a fiery interview with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, CNN's Erin Burnett questioned why the president refuses to accept the reality that Russian Federation attacked the 2016 presidential election.

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Three days later, Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and called the Russian leader's denial of election meddling "strong and powerful."

There have always been allegations that the Russian government intervened in the 2016 US Presidential Election to help Trump.

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

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. "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.

"This is about exploiting the fault lines that exist in our society and building on what was done in 2016, and it isn't confined to the internet - it includes print and television, as well, in some cases using existing platforms that predate the 2016 election", the official said.

"I've said all along I see no evidence of collusion".

Bolton said Trump is "leading unprecedented action to punish Russia" for its efforts to disrupt American elections.

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