Trump disputes Russian interference in 2016 election

Laura Christensen
June 23, 2017

Warner said it was "stunning" intelligence officials appear to have not relayed information related to the election systems attacks in those 21 states.

Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican, pressed Johnson on why the Democratic National Committee rejected the Department of Homeland Security's efforts to help after Russians hacked them.

Johnson says a lot of internal discussion and consideration preceded an October statement about the hacking from his department and the director of national intelligence.

"In one case, investigators found there had been a manipulation of voter data in a county database but the alterations were discovered and rectified", sources told the magazine.

But though the government disclosed that 21 states were potentially impacted by the targeting, lawmakers were left frustrated that the public still doesn't have a full picture of what exactly the Russians did during the election and that it's not fully clear what the U.S. will do to protect itself going forward.

Wisconsin's top election official also added that the state's Elections Commission would "likely be able to detect" any attempt to gain access to the state's election system.

Johnson said the reaction of state officials ranged from "neutral to negative" because they feared a federal takeover. It wasn't until after the election, that Johnson formally made the designation. It took until October for Johnson and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to issue a public statement confronting Russian Federation.

So far there's no evidence that Russian cyberattacks altered USA vote totals in any way. Now, the key question for the President and Congress is: "What are we going to do to protect the American people and their democracy from this kind of thing in the future?"

But Mr Johnson did not say that in evidence on Wednesday before the House intelligence committee.

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He testified that hacks in 2015 on the Office of Personnel Management spurred him to press his staff "to know whether DHS was sufficiently proactive, and on the scene helping the DNC identify the intruders and patch vulnerabilities", according to prepared remarks he submitted to the committee.

The DNC would not cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security following the claim that Russians hacked into computer systems during the 2016 elections.

The fact that private data was stolen from states is separately providing investigators a previously unreported line of inquiry in the probes into Russian attempts to influence the election. "It's at the discretion of each state what they wish to disclose". Mark Warner was particularly displeased with the secrecy, which DHS said was necessary to preserve trust from its local partners.

"And the President I think has been pretty clear on where he stands with that". Too bad it took so long to get to this point.

When reminded by Dickerson that the intelligence community had stated unanimously that Russian Federation tried to interfere with the election, Trump said he was "okay" with that conclusion.

"I think you could argue they've achieved quite a bit because if you look at the amount of time we've spent in this country on what happened and if you look at the political fissures that formed".

"I was anxious to know whether our folks were in there". He acknowledged that the Federal Bureau of Investigation delayed notification to DHS about the cyberattack on the Democratic National Committee a year ago.

The hearing - which was created to focus specifically on elections infrastructure and not Russian hacking writ large - frustrated lawmakers in how little information witnesses were able to share.

Officials repeated previous assurances that none of the digital intrusions affected the vote count on Election Day. "These realities risk making our election results more hard for the American people to trust".

Other reports by My Hot News

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