Trump disputes Russian interference in 2016 election

Trump disputes Russian interference in 2016 election

A portrait of Russia's cyberattacks on the US emerged Wednesday as current and former USA officials told Congress that Russian Federation stockpiled stolen information and selectively disseminated it during the 2016 presidential campaign to undermine the US political process.

Mr Johnson also said Russian hacking did not change election totals, but he can not be sure other meddling did not influence public opinion.

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied responsibility for any cyber attacks during the US presidential election. It could also require election officials to receive training on how to recognize hacking tactics like phishing.

Johnson's designation of USA election systems as critical infrastructure was aimed at providing more federal cybersecurity assistance to state and local governments.

United States officials have maintained, including during Congressional hearings on Wednesday, that no voter information was manipulated in the breaches.

On Wednesday, former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson testified at a House Intelligence Committee hearing about what his agency knew about Russian interference and how it attempted to prevent it during the campaign season.

"I'm not going to argue with you, sir", Johnson replied.

Johnson says Comey would not have made such a move lightly.

Johnson said Comey would not take this lightly.

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.

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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.

Both sides of the Capitol on Wednesday heard from experts about the extent of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, with officials for the first time revealing how many states' election-related systems were targeted by Russian hackers. "That is a fact, plain and simple", Johnson testified in the House.

Specifically, Johnson was questioned about whether the DHS helped the DNC after learning about possible Russian hacking.

Clinton has blamed the disclosure of the emails on a daily basis as one reason for her election loss to Trump, although Johnson said he had no idea about their importance in analyzing the outcome. He said the "scale and aggressiveness" was different this time, with the primary goal being to sow discord and aid the candidacy of Republican Donald Trump, the eventual victor.

Johnson said in the late summer and into the fall, he was very concerned about the meddling in state election systems and that the department encouraged states to seek assistance from DHS.

Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma City says the state's optical scan system lets Oklahoma quickly count ballots but also verify them through the state's paper ballots if needed.

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)".

The hacking of state and local election databases in 2016 was more extensive than previously reported, including at least one successful attempt to alter voter information, and the theft of thousands of voter records that contain private information like partial Social Security numbers, current and former officials tell TIME.

"So anything I'd have on that is derivative of what the intelligence community has - and the law enforcement community", he said. "This was a profound misunderstanding of what a critical infrastructure designation would mean, which I tried to clarify for them".

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