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Russian Federation intends to keep meddling in United States elections — Intelligence Chiefs

14 February 2018, 07:23 | Myrtle Vega

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Amid pressure, Trump conceded during a press conference as president-elect that, "As far as hacking, I think it was Russian Federation".

Russian Federation is already meddling in the midterm elections this year, the top American intelligence officials said on Tuesday, warning that Moscow is using a digital strategy to worsen the country's political and social divisions, The New York Times writes.Russian Federation is using fake accounts on social media - many of them bots - to spread disinformation, the officials said.

The campaign of "active measures", as intelligence officers call them, is no longer discussed in terms of whether it happened, but, rather, amid certainty that it never stopped.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo delivered a stern assessment on foreign interference in American politics.

Other senators asked Coats, Pompeo, Wray and their counterparts to restate their support for the 2017 assessment that concluded Russian Federation had attacked the previous year's election.

"We can not confront this threat, which is a serious one, without a whole-of-government response when the leader of the government continues to deny that it exists", said Sen.

Sometimes Trump and the White House accept the dangers the intelligence community says are facing American elections. It could threaten to step up investigations into his administration if he doesn't enforce the sanctions. Russian Federation denies the allegations and President Donald Trump has called the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe a witch hunt.

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. "In particular, I'm anxious about the close relationship between the Chinese government and Chinese technology firms, particularly in the area of commercialisation of our surveillance technology and efforts to shape telecommunication equipment markets", he said.

Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday. "But I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people".

All right, he was asked - whose job is that? "Several agencies that have equities in this are working together to try to integrate that process".

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"The failure to address our long-term fiscal situation has increased the national debt to over 20 trillion (dollars) and growing", Coats said.

The companies have repeatedly denied that the Chinese government is using them to spy on the United States.

"Frankly, the United States is under attack", Coats said at the Senate Intelligence Committee's annual hearing on worldwide threats. When the National Association of Secretaries of State holds its winter meeting this weekend in Washington, half of the sessions will be devoted wholly or in part to election security. He criticized Trump for not issuing more sanctions against Russian Federation in response to the meddling.

Many experts, meanwhile, believe that Russian meddling in the presidential race was but a foretaste of what is to come - not just from the Kremlin, but also from other hostile states and private actors.

Intelligence agencies are already seeing hard evidence that the Russians will perhaps act more aggressively than in 2016.

"I disagree. that we are no better prepared", said Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

What about going beyond network upgrades for America's elections vendors, or educating voters - what about fighting back?

"This threat did not begin in 2016, and it certainly didn't end with the election".

Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley agreed: "It is not going to change, nor is it going to stop". This is no surprise to us.



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