US Cites 'pervasive' Russian Efforts to Weaken Election

03 August, 2018, 13:13 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • U.S. President Donald Trump boards Air Force One for travel to Atlanta from Joint Base Andrews

Numerous nation's top intelligence officials made a surprise appearance in the White House press briefing Thursday to send a message from the podium that President Donald Trump and the rest of the USA government are prepared to take on foreign election interference, including from Russian Federation.

The national security adviser, a longtime Russian Federation hawk, also defended the president's much-maligned press conference after his tête-à-tête with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, when Trump did not address Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. "This includes measures to heighten the security and resilience of election systems and processes, to confront Russian and other foreign malign influence in the United States, to confront such aggression through worldwide action, and to reinforce a strong sanctions regime".

It was the first time the agency leaders had stood side-by-side to address election interference and their appearance at the White House comes as the president has faced criticism about his handling and messaging about election interference.

It inspired another national round of hand-wringing over malign Russia influence and intentions in the US, but the recent Helsinki summit between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin has actually boosted America's image in Mr. Putin's Russia.

'Our focus here today is simply to tell the American people we acknowledge the threat.

On Thursday, Coats reiterated that Russian Federation is "looking for every opportunity, regardless of party" to disrupt USA elections.

Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of Homeland Security, said that "free and fair elections" were the "cornerstone" of America's political system, adding: "Our democracy itself is in the crosshairs". "Why didn't government tell me that he was under investigation".




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

FILE - In this Thursday, May 25, 2017 file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg take a seat during a working dinner at a NATO summit in Brussels.

He not only confirmed that Russia continues in attempts to meddle in US elections, but also that this includes Russian individuals, the Kremlin, "and even add to that".

In the days immediately following the Helsinki summit, Trump famously corrected himself, claiming he misspoke when he'd said he didn't see any reason why it "would" be Russian Federation which meddled in the elections. In addition, they have encountered cyber attacks against voting infrastructure and computer intrusions targeting elected officials.

US officials say the illegal activity includes criminal efforts to suppress voting and provide illegal campaign financing, cyber attacks against voting infrastructure, along with computer intrusions targeting elected officials and others.

Trump has repeatedly belittled the probe as "a hoax", as those close to him suggest he feels that any talk of Russian interference tarnishes his electoral victory and delegitimizes his presidency.

"When you look at this administration's actions, they have been clearly willing to confront Vladimir Putin", Stewart, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said in a speech to the Sutherland Institute, and during follow-up questions.

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