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USA accuses Russian Federation of 'pervasive' election meddling

USA accuses Russian Federation of 'pervasive' election meddling

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"Our democracy itself is in the crosshairs", echoed Nielsen.

"Glad to see the White House finally do something about election security - even if it's only a press conference", Sen.

The top aides, including intelligence director Dan Coats and national security adviser John Bolton, appeared in the White House briefing room to stress that a major effort was under way to protect the integrity of congressional elections in November and the 2020 presidential election.

Bolton said Thursday that Trump is "leading unprecedented action to punish Russia" for its efforts to disrupt American elections.

Both Russia's President Vladimir Putin and China's President Xi Jinping want to weaken the USA, and Xi has a plan to make his country the "not a peer to the United States but the single dominant power in the world" by 2048, the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party in China, the Utah Republican said.

The three-term congressman defended President Donald Trump's approach to Russian Federation, though he conceded he was frustrated with his joint press conference after meeting with Putin last month.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Bolton's letter did not address Democrats' concerns that the Trump administration was not fully implementing US sanctions on Russian Federation levied in response to the 2016 meddling.

The US government on Thursday accused Russian Federation of carrying out a "pervasive" campaign to influence public opinion and elections, in a warning just months before crucial legislative polls. "This is a threat we need to take extremely seriously".

Mr Wray said the FBI had opened investigations into election interference.

Nielsen said that "our adversaries have shown they have the willingness and capability to interfere in our elections", and "DHS has and continues to work closely with state and local election officials throughout the country by offering a range of services to help identify weaknesses in their election systems".

Both Republicans and Democrats have criticized the administration's response as fragmented, without enough coordination across federal agencies. Last Friday, the National Security Council, chaired by Trump, met to discuss the ongoing threats. Stewart asked. "The thing we have to decide is does Vladimir Putin know the answer to that question".

Meddling is "just a click away", Coats said. The meeting was 17 days ago.

"I'm not in a position to either understand fully or talk about what happened in Helsinki", Coats said matter-of-factly.

Mr Trump unleashed a Twitter tirade on Wednesday as he sought to defend himself and Mr Manafort, and criticised a probe into whether his campaign team worked with Russian Federation to try and sway the result of the election two years ago. Then later that week, Coats said he wished Trump had made a "different statement" standing next to Putin.

On Thursday, Bolton said he meets with Trump on the issue of blocking interference in the 2018 campaign "constantly" and privately raised concerns with Putin during their meeting.

ABC's Jonathan Karl repeatedly pressed Sanders on election security.

And we're doing everything we can to have a legitimate election that the American people can have trust in, ' said Director of national intelligence Dan Coats. "Has there been any evidence from the intelligence community that there were others besides Russian Federation that were involved in election meddling?"


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