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Intelligence officials say Russian Federation intent on disrupting future U.S. elections

14 February 2018

Russian Federation plans to interfere in the 2018 midterms as part of its larger effort to ramp up cyber operations against the US and its allies, USA intelligence agencies said Tuesday.

The US Senate on Tuesday was presented with the United States Intelligence Community's 2018 "World Wide Threat Assessment", regarding the threats to US national security, by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats.

The Trump administration's intelligence chief says North Korea's development of nuclear weapons poses a potentially existential threat to the United States.

The government's top intelligence officials say Russian Federation will likely reprise its election meddling in the upcoming midterms-and that President Donald Trump has not told them to take any specific action to stop Kremlin interference.

President Donald Trump, unwilling to acknowledge the degree of Russian meddling in the 2016 election (and thereby tainting his "victory" as a result, in part, of a hostile foreign power's interference), has brushed aside numerous admonitions from Congress, outside experts and even his own advisers to harden our defenses against future interference.

National security agency directors addressed the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday to discuss emerging threats the United States faces amid technological upheavals.

Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo and Chris Wray, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, also Trump appointees, said there were significant, specific efforts under way, but did not elaborate. James Risch (R-Idaho), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

What do you think of the news that Russian Federation may interfere with the midterm elections?

"We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump".

"We realize we have to answer for the American people, what did Russian Federation do to mess with the 2016 elections", he added.

Sen. Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, asked several of the intelligence chiefs whether the President had asked them to specifically focus on blocking the possibility of Russia's meddling.

Three of the nation's top intelligence officials say the USA has seen Russian activity aimed at meddling in the upcoming midterm elections. "We are gaining more, I think, support - I guess is the right word - from the private sector, who are beginning to recognize ever more the issues that are faced with the material that comes through their processes". "The IC needs to stay on top of this issue, and I'm anxious that we don't have a clear line of assignment".

"I would just say, as we said publicly, that we had grave concerns about that memo's release", he said. Both are "widely understood to have extraordinary ties to the Chinese government", Burr said.

Intelligence officials say Russian Federation intent on disrupting future U.S. elections