Intel officials sound the alarm on Russian meddling in 2018 midterms

14 February, 2018, 19:25 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Pakistan is likely to come under intense pressure from India for back-to-back attacks on the Sunjwan camp at the FATF. Representative image

"There should be no doubt that Russia perceives its past efforts" to disrupt the 2016 presidential campaign "as successful and views the 2018 midterm elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations", said Coats, the leader of the US government's 17 intelligence agencies.

In a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the most urgent threats facing the country, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and the heads of the CIA, FBI, NSA and two other spy agencies were unanimous in saying that Moscow's efforts to disrupt USA politics are as intense now as they were in the 2016 presidential election.

"North Korea will be the most volatile and confrontational WMD (weapons of mass destruction) threat in the coming year", Coats said.

"We expect Russian Federation to continue using propaganda, social media, false-flag personas, sympathetic spokespeople, and other means of influence to try to exacerbate social and political fissures in the United States", it added.

The intelligence community put out a dire warning in testimony before Congress Tuesday: Russia remains determined to undermine American democracy as we head into the 2018 midterm elections.

US spy agencies said past year they had determined Russian Federation used hacking and propaganda in an effort to tilt the 2016 presidential election in favor of the Republican candidate, Donald Trump.

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The heads of the CIA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency, as well as the director of national intelligence, were all in agreement about how important it is to address this threat.

- The top USA intelligence chiefs told lawmakers that they have seen signs of Russian meddling in the upcoming midterm elections.

"This is going to go on", Risch said.

Democrats expressed concern that President Donald Trump's anger over the investigation into whether his campaign concluded with the Russians in 2016 will undercut the government's ability to respond forcefully to continued Russian interference.

In Trump's mind, the issue of collusion between his campaign and the Russian government is indistinguishable from the notion that Russia meddled in the election to help him win, the sources said.

Russian hackers are already scanning US electoral systems, intelligence officials have said, and using bot armies to promote partisan causes on social media.

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"Frankly, the United States is under attack", he said.

His expectation: Russian interference in the midterm or in state elections.

Pompeo added: "Sen. Reed, we have a significant effort".

Director of National Intelligence ' remarks came days after a group of Pakistan-based terrorists struck the Sunjuwan Military Camp in Jammu, killing seven people including six soldiers.

Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner (left) and Chairman Richard Burr confer Tuesday after a hearing on worldwide threats, includin.

Earlier in the hearing, Pompeo said that the intelligence community has offensive "capabilities" to "raise the costs to adversaries" seeking to hack into election systems to disrupt voting.

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The Senate Intelligence Committee is conducting one of the three main congressional investigations into the Russian Federation issue.



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