Top US Intel Officials: Russia Bent on Influencing US Midterm Elections

Trump still unsure Russia interfered in election CNN sources

Coats added there is "no doubt" Russian Federation views its past efforts in targeting the US through cyber and social media campaigns as "successful".

U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told a Senate panel on Tuesday that the country's bitter political wrangling and growing debt posed grave threats to U.S. national security.

The director warned that the Kremlin will continue to use "sympathetic" spokesmen to advance its disinformation agenda, pushing propaganda, social media, "false-flag personas" and other means of influence "to try to exacerbate social and political fissures in the United States".

Senator Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the panel, said while many questions remain about Russia's actions in the 2016 vote, there is "a broad bipartisan consensus" on the intelligence panel that Moscow engaged in a coordinated attack to undermine USA democracy.

United States intelligence agencies predict that Russian Federation will attempt to tamper with the upcoming 2018 midterm elections through cyber operations and false information campaigns, according to an Associated Press report Tuesday.

'We've had more than a year to get our act together, ' top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee says.

"Yes, we have seen Russian activity and intentions to have an impact on the next election cycle here", said CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

At Tuesday's meeting, Coats was joined by leaders of the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the F.B.I. and other intelligence agencies.

Coats also touched on other national security concerns, including border security, which he says is "in need of drastic improvement" with drugs and gang members flowing into the USA on a daily basis.

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Coats said North Korea will be among the most volatile and confrontational weapons of mass destruction (WMD) threats to the United States over the next year. He hasn't even Tweeted a single concern. Pompeo said that Trump "has made very clear we have an obligation" to make sure policymakers have a deep understanding of the Russian Federation threat.

Rogers and FBI Director Christopher Wray and said they, for example, are helping to brief state and local elections officials about the potential dangers from cyberattacks.

On Tuesday, the intelligence community also spoke about other American threats such as North Korea's nuclear program, Middle Eastern Islamist militants, and drug trafficking.

"Frankly, the United States is under attack", Coats said.

Democrats pressed the administration witnesses on Tuesday about why the Trump administration hadn't done more to punish Russian Federation or deter this kind of interference - why, for example, hadn't Trump followed up signing last year's sanctions bill with stronger restrictions now?

During the hearing, Rogers and Wray told senators that they had disagreed with Trump's decision to release a controversial memo written by staff for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).

Coats said the details of any meddling needs to be shared with the American people.

"This is going to go on", Risch said. The FBI director said he refuses to discuss investigations into the Trump campaign's suspected collusion with Russian Federation with Trump.

"We expect that will conduct bolder and more disruptive cyber operations during the next year, most likely using new capabilities against Ukraine", the assessment says.

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