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

Homeland Security chief hasn’t ‘seen’ intel reports that Russia favored Trump

Nielsen was on Capitol Hill Tuesday with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, to brief members of Congress on election security.

About two weeks ago, the president unloaded on Nielsen at a heated Cabinet meeting - railing against her for failing to stop illegal border crossings.

And pressed on the findings about Trump, she said, "I do believe that Russian Federation did and will continue to try to manipulate Americans' perspective on a whole variety of issues". "I'm not aware of that", she said.

A spokesman for the department later said that Nielsen had reviewed the intelligence community's assessment and agrees with it, but said the intelligence assessment language "is nuanced for a reason".

Her comments are at odds with an assessment released in January 2017 that said Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government "developed a clear preference" for Trump. "Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the United States democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency".

Hillary Clinton took a jab at President Donald Trump, pulling out a Russian ushanka hat while delivering a commencement speech at Yale University.

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The House intelligence committee reported last month that though Russian Federation did interfere in the USA election and wanted to hamper the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, it had not seen evidence the interference was meant to help Trump. "All three agencies agree with this judgment", the report said, referring to the CIA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency.

In the 2017 assessment, the FBI, CIA and NSA all agreed that Russian Federation interfered with a preference for Trump.

Nielsen was speaking to reporters after briefing House lawmakers on election security efforts. "So we've seen them encourage people go to a protest on one side; we've seen them simultaneously encourage people to go to that same protest on the other side". "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". Houlton pointed out that the Kremlin "targeted both major political parties" in its interference, but did not state that Nielsen believes Russian Federation favored Trump.

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

Following Nielsen's apparent "unawareness" of the report's findings, the DHS issued a statement in an attempt to clarify her stance on the topic.

Intelligence agencies have performed joint exercises with local officials on security matters and are working on obtaining higher-grade security clearances for secretaries of state so they can be fully informed about threats to the elections they're in charge of administering.


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