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After Democrats' concern, Trump officials issue statement on election security

26 May, 2018, 06:44 | Author: Lloyd Doyle
  • UNITED STATES- MAY 22 Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Rep. Michael McCaul R-Texas chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee off camera address the media after briefing on election security with House members in the Capitol

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pushed back Tuesday on the intelligence community's January 2017 assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin meddled in the 2016 U.S. election in an attempt to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Describing a report on Russian interference presented by the intelligence community to president-elect Trump in January 2017, Clapper writes, "I remember just how staggering the assessment felt the first time I read it through from start to finish, and just how specific our conclusions and evidence were". "I'm not aware of that", she said.

She said she believed the Russians have attempted to manipulate public confidence on both sides.

The assessment was also backed by the Senate Intelligence Committee and special counsel Robert Mueller.

Nielsen spoke to reporters after holding a closed-door congressional briefing today on election security. "Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the USA democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency".


The chairman of the House panel, Devin Nunes, has been extensively criticised for his closeness to the Trump White House. It specifically states that Russian president Vladimir Putin was behind a campaign to "denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency", and that he had "a clear preference for President-elect Trump" in the 2016 election. "It's an integrity issue of who is saying what and why and how that may or may not affect American behavior". "Russian goals included undermining faith in the USA democratic process and harming a candidate's electability and potential presidency".

Tyler Houlton, a DHS spokesman, said shortly after that Nielsen was familiar with the 2017 assessment.

On Tuesday, he criticized the president for demanding the Justice Department investigate allegations that the Federal Bureau of Investigation placed a mole in the Trump campaign. "We need to be prepared", she said. She also very clearly articulated today that the Russian government unequivocally worked to undermine our democracy during the 2016 election. During the gaggle, Nielsen claimed ignorance over the 2017 conclusions from the DNI, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency and the NSA that Vladimir Putin wanted Trump to defeat Hillary Clinton.

The spokesman added that the language of the intelligence community's assessment is "nuanced" and said that the reporter's question "did not reflect the specific language in the assessment itself".

But the Senate Intelligence Committee, in a bipartisan fashion, recently affirmed the conclusion. They claimed in their report that the intelligence community didn't follow its best practices when it concluded Russian Federation favored Trump in the election.

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