USA intel chiefs say Russian Federation meddling threatens 2018 vote

Russia targeting 2018 elections, US intelligence chiefs say

US intelligence leaders testify before Senate Intelligence Committee

National Intelligence Director Dan Coats warned that he hopes that Russian Federation and or foreign countries will try to push "greater cyber" to erode democratic values and stoke social divisions.

The heads of the lead U.S. intelligence agencies warned that Russian Federation intends to use cyberattacks, more propaganda, and other tactics to try and influence upcoming elections for the U.S. Congress and in some European countries.

"There should be no doubt that Russia perceives its past efforts as successful and views the 2018 U.S. midterm elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations", Coats said.

American officials, however, have tried to threaten Russian Federation before to stop its interference campaign.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo, appearing eager to defend Trump, said the president has generally asked the intelligence community to address threats, adding that the CIA takes "all kinds of steps to disrupt what the Russians are trying to do". Coats backed up the statement.

Much of the Committee session focused on the topic of Russian meddling in USA elections and cyber threats posed by Russian agencies and related organizations, however many Senators at the meeting also expressed concern over China's activities across the globe.

"We've had more than a year to get our act together and address the threat posed by Russian Federation and implement a strategy to deter future attacks".

The appearance of Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo Jong at the Olympics has led to gushing coverage from some American media outlets, with stories suggesting Pyongyang's delegation is diplomatically outflanking the U.S.

- Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) disputed Warner's assessment that the USA was no better prepared now than in 2016 for Russian election meddling.

"This is going to go on", Risch said. Angus King of ME argued that there was not a clear "doctrine" that dictates what the US response and consequences are when bad actors infiltrate the nation's cybersecurity posture. "And I encourage our folks not to get hung up with what I consider the noise on TV and social media". The American people are smart people. "They realize that there's people attempting to manipulate them, both domestically and foreign". "It is the finest group of professionals and public servants I could hope to work for, and every day, many times a day, I'm confronted with unbelievable examples of integrity, professionalism and grit", Wray said.

"Everyone in our agency of government understands the threat we have here and the impact being made through these cyber threats".

Coats said the government's ability to force changes at social media companies, which have come under scrutiny over the spread of false information, is limited. "That's something we can discuss more in a closed setting", he said.

- Coats also took a swipe at Trump and Congress over the national debt. "I think there needs to be a national cry for that".

Coats said state efforts to modernise, develop, or acquire WMD, their delivery systems, or their underlying technologies constitute a major threat to the security of the United States, its deployed troops, and its allies.

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