Top Officials Highlight Election Security

03 August, 2018, 10:14 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • An image taken using a drone and obtained by AFP shows the aircraft immobilized in a field at the end of the runway

Responding to wide-ranging criticism that it lacked a clear national strategy to protect USA elections, the Trump administration put on a show of force Thursday and said the president had directed a "vast, government-wide effort" to safeguard a cornerstone of American democracy.

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

National Security Adviser John Bolton, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and the commander of the US Cyber Command, Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, attend a briefing at the White House on Thursday.

On Thursday, Coats reiterated that Russian Federation is "looking for every opportunity, regardless of party" to disrupt USA elections.

Mr Bolton also wrote to Senate Democrats, saying Mr Trump "has not and will not tolerate interference in America's system of representative government".

The comments came in jarring contrast to the positions of President Donald Trump, but the two men dismissed suggestions the president - who has repeatedly denied Russian Federation moved to tilt the election in his favour - is not taking the issue seriously.

Separately, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters that the Pentagon was also assisting in efforts to safeguard U.S. elections.


Their rare appearance during a White House briefing came as a display of resolve, weeks after Trump publicly undermined the conclusions of American intelligence agencies regarding Russian interference.

"We're throwing everything at it", Coats said.

"The threat is multi-disciplinary: targeting United States officials and other USA persons through traditional intelligence tradecraft, criminal efforts to suppress voting and provide illegal campaign financing, cyber-attacks against voting infrastructure along with computer intrusions".

That's why Trump's tweets and news conference performance are "so frustrating to me because it clouded that reality, and fell into this image that he prefers a strongman like Vladimir Putin, who we know is a KGB thug", he said. 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. "We discussed everything. We got along really well".

"Who is the president who said we are going to drive down the cost of energy and make the United States the most efficient oil exporter in the world...?"

Stewart said when he made his predictions, he was asked about who he thought Russian Federation wanted to win the election.

Facebook Inc said on Tuesday it had uncovered a new coordinated political influence campaign to mislead its users and sow dissension among voters ahead of congressional elections. Trump has insisted there was no collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation.

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