Ex-Homeland Security Director Says Politics Prevented Disclosure of Russian Meddling

Cameron Gross
June 26, 2017

Russian hackers targeted 21 US states" election systems in a year ago " s presidential race, a Department of Homeland Security official told Congress on Wednesday.

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

All 17 intelligence agencies have agreed Russian Federation was behind the hack of Democratic email systems and tried to influence the 2016 election to benefit Trump. "Why didn't they stop them?" the president tweeted, shortly following with "...

That led Trump to ask in two more Twitter comments, "Why did Democratic National Committee turn down the DHS offer to protect against hacks (long prior to election). It's all a big Dem HOAX!" he wrote.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.), who served as DNC chair at the time, denied that the organization rejected assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation or DHS in dealing with the hack. "It's all a big Dem scam and excuse for losing the election!", Trump added.

"[Russia] is a career offender with a history of cyberattacks against our country", said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) "We weren't surprised Russian Federation was doing this to us, they always do it to us so what more could we have done before the election?"

In morning tweets, Trump opined on the Russian Federation probe and sought to assert his innocence, even as special counsel Robert S. Mueller III expands the investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation to look at possible obstruction of justice by the president.

"If they have (before), I am not aware of that", he said.

In Illinois, Russian state actors stole more than 90,000 records from the state's voter rolls.

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She estimated that Trump has "said several times now that he believes that Russian Federation was part of it" but said "some of those same members" of the intelligence community who have pointed the finger at Russian Federation "have said that they don't think it influenced the election".

"Further, we assessed that multiple checks and redundancies in United States election infrastructure-including diversity of systems, non-internet connected voting machines, pre-election testing, and processes for media, campaign, and election officials to check, audit, and validate results-make it likely that cyber manipulation of USA election systems meant to change the outcome of a national election would be detected".

"To my disappointment, the reaction to a critical infrastructure designation, at least from those who spoke up, ranged from neutral to negative", Johnson said during a hearing Wednesday with the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Samuel Liles, the Department of Homeland Security's acting director of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis Cyber Division, said vote-tallying mechanisms were unaffected and that the hackers appeared to be scanning for vulnerabilities - which Liles likened to walking down the street and looking at homes to see who might be inside.

Warner on Tuesday sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly asking the agency to disclose more information about hacking attempts on state and local election systems.

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

"One of the candidates (Mr. Trump), as you recall, was predicting that the election was going to be rigged", the former Homeland Security secretary said.

FBI Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Bill Priestap testified Wednesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russians also pushed false news reports and propaganda online, using amplifiers to spread their message.

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied responsibility for any cyber attacks during the US presidential election.

Other reports by BadHub

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