Trump disputes Russian interference in 2016 election

Kristopher Drake
June 23, 2017

Johnson also addressed the Obama administration's political sensitivity when it came to warning of the Russian meddling, and alluded to problems created at the time by Trump's own statements.

Former Homeland Security Advisor Jeh Johnson is latest top intelligence official to state there was no grand scheme between Trump & Russia.

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to call Russian interference in the 2016 election a "big Dem hoax" and slammed the Democratic National Committee over how it dealt with the hacking of its email systems a year ago.

Mr Trump frequently lashes out at the Russian Federation investigation as a "witch hunt" spearheaded by Democrats.

Johnson's testimony on Russian intrusion is consistent with the assessment of several US intelligence agencies, including the FBI, CIA and National Security Agency.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also warned the administration that "he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics".

Priestap said that since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990's, "Russia has substantially rebuilt, but it hasn't been able to fully regain its former status or its former territory".

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Wednesday that the USA move wasn't constructive and warned of possible retaliation.

In August of 2017, DHS started getting reports of "cyber-related scanning and probing" of USA election infrastructure, testified Samuel Liles, another DHS official.

"The situation is not conducive to holding a round of this dialogue", the Russian Foreign Ministry quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying.

Russian hackers targeted 21 U.S. states' election systems in the 2016 presidential race, a USA official told Congress on Wednesday, but a former official testified that a video of Donald Trump bragging of sexual conquests distracted attention from Washington's warnings. Johnson said 36 states accepted help from the federal government in trying to blunt the Russian efforts, even as many states rejected federal oversight of their state-run election operations.

Johnson says he moved to designate USA elections as critical infrastructure on the same day as the release of a declassified US intelligence report that said Russian President Vladimir Putin "ordered" an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the USA presidential election.

Homeland Security officials confirmed at the Senate hearing that the Russian hacks breached electoral systems in 21 states - though only IL and Arizona have been made public and the details of the penetrations remain secret.

The top Democrat on the committee criticized the Federal Bureau of Investigation for withholding that information.

"But, I have no doubt that it will continue", he said. "To have the number of states that were hacked into or attempted to be hacked into still kept secret is just insane in my mind".

State elections officials, who testified before the Senate committee, complained that DHS could have offered more information about the hacking. This allows the federal government to give more security help to state and local election offices.

"We did not have any attempts to access our system", said Bryan Dean, spokesman for the Oklahoma State Election Board.

She said the calls occurred on August 15, September 8 and October 12.

Mueller took over the Russian Federation probe in May after Trump fired Comey.

"Many would perhaps criticize us for taking sides", he said, pointing out President Trump had claimed the election would be "rigged".

Other reports by Ligue1talk

Discuss This Article