Ex-Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson's testimony Wednesday should mark the definitive end of "Russia hacked the election" hysteria.
President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Thursday morning to bash former President Barack Obama for not doing more to stop Russia's meddling with the election, because any alleged interference would have occurred during his administration. Regardless of what he finds, there's no doubt that security relating to the 2018 mid-term elections will be a major focus over the next year - and that'll be doubly true for 2020's presidential election.
The public disclosure finally came October 7, when Johnson and James R. Clapper the then-director of national intelligence, said in a joint statement that Russian Federation was involved in cyber "threats and disclosures ... meant to interfere with the U.S. Election process".
"I believe the Russians absolutely will continue to try to conduct influence operations in the USA, which will include cyber operations", said Bill Priestap, assistant director of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division.
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.
Johnson described his discussions with state election officials about ensuring the integrity of the voting process.
"We did have a number of communications with, I believe, their point person in the Chicago office", Haas said.
In a statement, former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz saying she personally was never contacted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation or any government official about the breach, which would have allowed her to be briefed on the situation.
Russia's computer-hacking operation leading up to the election led to the release by the file-sharing group WikiLeaks of thousands of emails captured from the files of Democratic party chairman John Podesta, who was the campaign chairman for Trump's challenger, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Russia's actions did not change the final election count, they said, but they warned that Moscow's efforts will likely continue. Mark Warner announced the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation have confirmed two intrusions into voter registration databases in Arizona and IL by foreign-based hackers.
"I think he has made it clear and been consistent that while everyone agrees the result of the election wasn't influenced, he thinks that it probably was Russia", Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday at an off-camera briefing with reporters.
During Senate testimony, Lankford displayed a large screenshot of a phishing email allegedly used by Russian hackers to infiltrate the Democratic National Committee.
He also said he wasn't aware that the FBI had opened a counterintelligence investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials. They also said a Russian company attempted to break in to state voter registration databases, The L.A. Times reported.
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