Obama administration too slow to probe Russian meddling in 2016

Doris Richards
May 25, 2018

A declassified version of the January 2017 report, "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections", found that Russia's goals "were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency".

"This is an issue that the administration takes seriously and is addressing with urgency", Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats said in a joint statement.

Clapper continued to address the recent barrage of both tweets and oral attacks from the President and his allies by reiterating that his work as director of national intelligence related to Trump and his campaign was about trying to determine what the Russians were doing to interfere with American elections.

Later, she admitted she is "not over" the election loss, adding, "I still regret the mistakes I made. All three agencies agree with this judgment", the report said, referring to the CIA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency.

But bipartisan members of the Senate Intelligence Committee in a statement last week said they stand by the assessment.

After Nielsen's remarks Tuesday, DHS press secretary Tyler Houlton released a statement saying, "The Secretary has previously reviewed the Intelligence Community's assessment and agrees with it - as she stated today and previously", adding, "Russian goals included undermining faith in the United States democratic process and harming a candidate's electability and potential presidency". So far, she said, the department has not seen evidence that Russian Federation is trying to meddle in any particular races this year. "Surprising even themselves, they swung the election to a Trump win". "Russian goals included undermining faith in the USA democratic process and harming a candidate's electability and potential presidency".

DHS is assisting 48 states with election security and handed out a chart at the briefing to members seen by Reuters that said states need to have auditable systems; spend time on planning, training and drills; and should "consider investing in full system architecture reviews".

"Importantly, they targeted both major political parties".

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

The committee also issued a detailed report on Russian targeting of election infrastructure during the 2016 campaign.

Nielsen's comments come just days after the Senate Intelligence Committee announced it sided with the intelligence community in its findings on Russian interference. The Justice Department, in turn, responded by asking its inspector general to look into Trump's charge as part of an existing probe.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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