DHS, Top Law Enforcement Meet To Discuss Meddling In 2018 Elections


Homeland Security Secretary Kirsjten Nielsen and the directors of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Intelligence delivered a classified briefing to members of Congress, explaining how they're assisting state and local governments with the approaching midterm election.

A representative of Nielsen's defended her Tuesday comments, saying the reporter's question that preceded them was misleading.

"To make a statement that she's unaware of the specific evidence the Russians sought to help one of the candidate in the last presidential election shows a shocking either disregard of the facts or lack of preparedness", said House Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat Adam B. Schiff (Calif.). "The Russian effort was extensive, sophisticated, and ordered by President Putin himself for the goal of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton".

"What we have seen the Russians do is an attempt to manipulate. public confidence on both sides", she said. "I do generally have no reason to doubt any intelligence assessment".

The sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Reuters the Senate Intelligence Committee found that although there was mounting evidence of Russian interference for months before the November 2016 election, the Obama administration did not press US intelligence and law enforcement agencies to investigate.

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The heads of the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, and Director of National Intelligence met behind closed doors with members of Congress on Tuesday to discuss the threat of foreign meddling in the 2018 mid-term elections. "Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence".

After Nielsen's remarks Tuesday, DHS press secretary Tyler Houlton released a statement saying, "The Secretary has previously reviewed the Intelligence Community's assessment and agrees with it - as she stated today and previously", adding, "Russian goals included undermining faith in the USA democratic process and harming a candidate's electability and potential presidency". All three agencies agree with this judgment. As The Daily Beast noted, Clapper is adamant that it was Russia's actions in interfering in the election that swung the race to Donald Trump. She also very clearly articulated today that the Russian government unequivocally worked to undermine our democracy during the 2016 election. "No, there are not tanks in the streets, but what's happening right now goes to the heart of who we are as a nation, and I say this not as a Democrat who lost an election but as an American afraid of losing a country". "Importantly, they targeted both major political parties".

"The Secretary has previously reviewed the intelligence community's assessment and agrees with it - as she stated today and previously", he said in a statement.

Some Republicans in Congress have since disputed the findings, with House Intelligence Committee Republicans alleging that the finding was based on poor analysis.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Wednesday that President Donald Trump had distorted his words when alleging the intelligence community "spied" on his campaign.