DNI Coats: Cyber rises to top of worldwide threat assessment

Evarado Alatorre
Febrero 15, 2018

The earliest primary elections will be held March 6.

The bureau is under fire from President Trump and his GOP allies for its handling of investigations related to Russian meddling in the 2016 election and Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.

Last month, CIA Director Mike Pompeo said he had "every expectation" that Russian Federation will interfere with the midterm elections, a prediction he repeated Tuesday.

During Senator Heinrich's questioning, CIA Director Pompeo and DNI Director Coats warned of Russian attempts to interfere in USA elections and confirmed existing Russian activity and intention to have an impact on the 2018 midterm elections.

"This Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story", Trump said last May, shortly after firing FBI Director James Comey, who was overseeing the federal probe.

"Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen first identified the national debt as the greatest threat to our national security", Coats said. The head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Robert Ashley, and the head of the National-Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Robert Cardillo, also testified. In same line, Coats warned: "We hope that Russian Federation will continue to use propaganda, false people, simpatéticos spokesmen and or means of influence to try to exacerbate social and political fissures in U.S.". The inquiries are also seeking to determine whether President Donald Trump's campaign advisers colluded with the Kremlin.

"I would respectfully disagree", Risch said.

Apart from threats to the region, Coats also pointed out that Pakistan would threaten U.S. interests as well by developing new nuclear weapons capabilities and maintaining ties to militants. We are not going to allow some Russian to tell us how to vote, how we ought to run our country. She stated that she did not believe they had interfered with the election results, but she said that they had gained access.

"This is pervasive", Coats said.

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Dan Coats, the American Director of National Intelligence, warned the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that the risk of a global level conflict is higher today that it has been in decades, with a particular focus on the threats presented by North Korea, Iran, and terrorism, but compounded by the actions of "malign actors" like Russian Federation and China.

It's unclear what the U.S.is doing covertly to battle back.

And yet the officials acknowledged that the USA has yet to formulate a national strategy to counter cyberattacks.

He said the U.S. needs to come up with penalties for people who try to hack America's critical infrastructure, government or financial institutions, or they'll just keep doing it.

Russian hackers targeted the election systems of 21 U.S. states.

"Voting begins next month".

"From my point of view I think it's nothing but a stall by the North Koreans to further develop what they're trying to do and I suspect, in my judgment, we need to be very, very cautious of this", he added. The idea that Russians could have interfered in the election is, to the president, an argument that he was given help to win the election, and therefore didn't win on his own.

"Moscow seeks to create wedges that reduce trust and confidence in democratic processes, degrade democratization efforts, weaken US partnerships with European allies, undermine Western sanctions, [and] encourage anti-U.S. political views", the assessment says.

"Make no mistake", he said. "What we are seeing is a continuous assault by Russian Federation to target and undermine our democratic institutions, and they are going to keep coming at us".

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