Intelligence Chief: Yes, Russia Is Going After the Midterms

Intelligence Chief: Yes, Russia Is Going After the Midterms

"We will continue to work toward conclusions related to any cooperation or collusion by any individual, campaign, or company to influence the election or create societal chaos in the United States", he said.

The top intelligence officials' comments were in stark contrast to President Trump's, who denies meddling in the 2016 us elections and has not taken necessary action to prevent future foreign interference.

His assessment was echoed by all five other intelligence agency heads present at the hearing, including CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who two weeks ago stated publicly that he had "every expectation" that Russian Federation will try to influence the coming election.

- Intelligence indicates Russian Federation is specifically targeting the 2018 elections, Pompeo said.

"We've seen Russian activity and intentions to have an impact on the next election cycle here", he said. Coats backed up the statement.

"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". His assessment was supported by the other intelligence leaders at the hearing.

"I would respectfully disagree", Risch said. He said the Russian's had been "attempting" to meddle in the country's affairs, using cheap, ineffective techniques and that the American people were ready to handle those "attempts" to manipulate them. Bogus gay and gun rights organizations, and even a phony dog lovers group, all went to war online - with social media posts often amplified by Russian cyberbots. He said that, looking at IoT, the cybersecurity problem was going to get "exponentially worse".

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"We've all watched over the last week the smile campaign that North Korea has inflicted on the South Korean people", said Sen.

Robert Cardillo, director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, added that he agreed with the assessment about the "2018 occurrence". The failure to address our long-term fiscal situation has increased the national debt to over 20 trillion [and] growing. "There needs to be a national cry for that". North Korea's nuclear, biological and chemical warfare programs make it "the most volatile and confrontational WMD threat in the coming year", Coats said.

"We face a complex volatile and challenging threat environment", he said.

Mr Coats remarks have come at a time when India is facing a severe security threat from Pakistan in the wake of repeated terror attacks. And the information that we were working to try and retrieve was information that we believed might well have been stolen from the USA government. But he took issue with a media report that said the $100,000 spent by the administration ultimately failed to acquire the stolen hacking tools. "In our view, the suggestion the Central Intelligence Agency was swindled is false".

FBI Director Christopher A. Wray also is appearing Tuesday morning at the hearing, where he is expected to field questions on security clearances for White House personnel and whether he remains confident in the independence of his agents.

Wray said the Federal Bureau of Investigation completed its background check in July for Porter's security clearance.

Russia's determination to interfere in US democratic institutions is "not going to change or stop", said one intelligence official.

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