Published: Fri, August 03, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

On Election Interference, Trump And His Advisers Sound Completely Out Of Step

On Election Interference, Trump And His Advisers Sound Completely Out Of Step

Christopher Wray, the Federal Bureau of Investigation director and another of several security chiefs making a rare public appearance at the White House, added: "Russia attempted to interfere with the last election and continues to engage in malign influence operations to this day".

"We continue to see a pervasive campaign by Russian Federation to try to weaken and divide the United States".

"What we see is the Russians are looking for every opportunity, regardless of party, regardless of whether or not it applies to the election, to continue their pervasive efforts to undermine our fundamental values", Coats said Thursday.

Director Coats said Russian Federation has employed several means to exert influence in the US: media, social media, bots, "actors that they hire through proxies", "and potentially more".

"Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of our democracy, and it has become clear that they are the target of our adversaries who seek to sow discord and undermine our way of life", DHS Director Kirstjen Nielsen said from the White House.

Their appearance in the White House briefing room along with spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders came a day after President Trump yet again called the special counsel's probe into Russian election meddling a hoax and demanded that Attorney General Jeff Sessions shut it down. Indeed, Trump claimed Thursday night that he got along great with Putin - making the assertion that Russian Federation isn't happy with his election even more freakish and unnecessary.

Mr Coats said: "Our focus here today is simply to tell the American people we acknowledge the threat".

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The US government on Thursday accused Russian Federation of carrying out a "pervasive" campaign to influence public opinion and elections, in a warning just months before crucial legislative polls.

"The bottom line for election security is to make sure that we have paper ballots and that we have audits after the election to pick up on whether there were any risks" to election results, Wyden told reporters.

"This is about exploiting the fault lines that exist in our society and building on what was done in 2016, and it isn't confined to the internet - it includes print and television, as well, in some cases using existing platforms that predate the 2016 election", the official said.

"The president has made it clear that his administration will not tolerate foreign interference in our elections from any nation-state or other unsafe actors", Sanders said at the beginning of the briefing.

"I've had the honor and privilege to work with then-candidate and now-President Trump and to observe him behind the scenes and have personal conversations with him, and people ask me why do I defend him so vociferously, and I say it's easy for me to do it because I know him", Scott said. We haven't seen that robust effort from them so far, ' Coats said.

Activists whose pages were among those censored by Facebook have rejected claims that their efforts are part of some sort of Russian plot to sow discord in the United States, however.

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