White House officials: Russian election meddling is happening again

White House officials: Russian election meddling is happening again

Kerry Wise
August 3, 2018

US National Security Adviser John Bolton, FBI Director Chris Wray, National Security Agency Director Paul Nakasone and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen also spoke at Thursday's White House news conference.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said he's "not in a position to either understand fully or talk about what happened at Helsinki" between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin as he warned about malign activities from the Kremlin meant to influence the November vote.

"We have not seen that kind of robust campaign from them so far", Coats said in a briefing at the White House on Thursday.

U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and FBI Director Christopher Wray participate in a briefing on election security in the White House press briefing room at the White House in Washington, U.S., August 2, 2018.

US Cyber Command Chief Paul Nakasone said he'd received direct orders from Trump to fight Russian meddling.

Apparently we're in the same boat as the head of USA intelligence.

"Our letter to Ambassador Bolton urged him and the Trump administration to fully implement the sanctions on Russia that Congress already passed, extradite the 12 Russian government officials indicted by Special Counsel Mueller, and commit to protecting diplomats and other U.S. personnel - both past and present", a Thursday statement from the senators read.

John Bolton, the national security adviser, also wrote in a letter to Senate Democrats that "President Trump has not and will not tolerate interference in America's system of representative government".

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Both Russia's President Vladimir Putin and China's President Xi Jinping want to weaken the USA, and Xi has a plan to make his country the "not a peer to the United States but the single dominant power in the world" by 2048, the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party in China, the Utah Republican said.

"Russian Collusion with the Trump Campaign, one of the most successful in history, is a TOTAL HOAX", Mr. Trump tweeted on August 1.

The Director said they "subsequently made the determination to make this a top priority, that it doesn't happen again".

In an effort to thwart interference in US elections, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden said he hoped to win support for his bill that would require the use of paper ballots for voting.

When it comes to electronic voting machines, DHS' Nielsen said that the focus is on helping states make sure their machines can be audited after elections.

Beyond Russian interference with social media campaigns to influence voters, lawmakers are increasingly looking at how to bolster election infrastructure in the states - even though Congress shot down a recent effort to boost federal funding for local and state systems.

He said: "My guidance and the direction from the President and Secretary of Defence is very clear: We're not going to accept meddling in elections".