Published: Fri, August 03, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

USA accuses Russian Federation of 'pervasive' election meddling

USA accuses Russian Federation of 'pervasive' election meddling

"Russia attempted to interfere with the last election and continues to engage in malign influence operations to this day", said Wray.

"We have not seen that kind of robust campaign from them so far", Coats said in a briefing at the White House on Thursday.

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.

Coats told reporters that the intelligence community "continues to be concerned about the threats of upcoming USA elections, both the midterms and the presidential elections of 2020".

"President Trump has not and will not tolerate interference in America's system of representative government", Bolton wrote in a letter to Senate Democrats outlining the administration's actions toward Russian Federation. It comes amid mounting pressure as Mr. Mueller delves into whether Mr. Trump's campaign colluded with Russia's attempt to sway the election in the Republican's favour - and if the President sought to obstruct justice during the investigation by firing former FBI director James Comey.

"Right now, we have not seen that", Coats told reporters.

"Now we're being hindered by the Russian hoax - it's a hoax, OK?"

He says, "When we say hire American, we mean all Americans".

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen also discussed the threat, saying free and fair elections are the cornerstone of democracy.

"President Putin said the first issue that President Trump raised was election meddling", the national security adviser told reporters. First, we know this because the USA intelligence community unanimously concluded that Russian Federation intervened in the 2016 election in order to help Trump win.

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

In an effort to thwart interference in US elections, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden said he hoped to win support for his bill that would require the use of paper ballots for voting.

Wray, who took over the Federal Bureau of Investigation past year, said "the threat is real" in describing Russia's election-meddling campaign - calling it "information warfare".

"We have to make sure we're pushing back on it, which is what we're doing".

"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.

If those reassurances were not enough, FBI chief Wray revealed that the bureau was working closely with social media and technology companies to provide them "actionable intelligence" in a way not done previously. Trump has insisted there was no collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation.

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