WASHINGTON — Feb 13, 2018, 5:03 PM ET

US intel sees signs of Russian meddling in midterms


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Three of the nation's top intelligence officials confirmed Tuesday that they have seen evidence of Russian meddling in the upcoming midterm elections — part of what they say is Moscow's escalating cyber assault on American and European democracies.

"We have seen Russian activity and intentions to have an impact on the next election cycle," CIA Director Mike Pompeo told the Senate intelligence committee.

National Intelligence Director Dan Coats and Adm. Mike Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency, agreed that Russia's interference is ongoing. "This is not going to change or stop," Rogers said.

They didn't describe the activity, other than to say it was related to information warfare.

"This is pervasive," Coats said. "The Russians have a strategy that goes well beyond what is happening in the United States. While they have historically tried to do these types of things, clearly in 2016 they upped their game. They took advantage, a sophisticated advantage of social media. They are doing that not only in the United States but doing it throughout Europe and perhaps elsewhere."

U.S. intelligence concluded Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election, which has led to the current FBI investigation into possible Trump campaign connections. Russia denies the allegations and President Donald Trump has called the FBI probe a witch hunt.

The three testified in Congress on the same day that the intelligence community released its annual report on global threats. The report predicted Russian intelligence agencies will disseminate more false information over Russian state-controlled media and through fake online personas to spread anti-American views and exacerbate social and political divides in the United States.

Pompeo had said earlier that he expected that Russia would insert itself in the midterms in which Republicans and Democrats will vie for control of the House and Senate. And last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Fox News that the U.S. is seeing "certain behaviors" of Russian meddling in elections in the Northern Hemisphere, including "in the U.S." this year. But the latest testimony actually confirmed that it is occurring.

Coats said the details of any meddling needs to be shared with the American people. He said there should be a national outcry — that people need to stand up and say, "We're not going to allow some Russian to tell us how to vote, how to run our country."

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said it's been more than a year since the 2016 election, but the U.S. still has no plan to battle foreign interference in elections. He criticized Trump for not issuing more sanctions against Russia in response to the meddling.

"He hasn't even tweeted a single concern," Warner said.

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

But Coats acknowledged that the U.S. is "behind the curve" in coming up with policies to penalize those who hack America's critical infrastructure, interfere with elections, undermine the government or hit financial institutions.

Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, said he thinks the American people are better prepared to deal with Russian influence campaigns in the upcoming midterms and beyond. They have started to look askance at social media and attempts to influence their opinion, he said.

"The American people are smart people," Risch said. "They realize that there's people attempting to manipulate them, both domestically and foreign."

News - US intel sees signs of Russian meddling in midterms

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  • Makarizo

    These comments are being manipulated to make it look like everyone hates Trump. I've had 3 proTrump comments deleted heree. This probably will be too.

  • Makarizo

    Oh, so the intelligence agencies are going to masquerade as Russia. I gotcha!

  • Scott Bracken

    McCarthyism and the 80s want their paranoia back.

    the russians have been meddling in our affairs, including elections, for decades. we have been doing the same to them.

    grow up and learn to think for yourselves

  • MaryBlack

    Oh it's back to the Russia Russia Russia talking point today. Got it.

  • Awaiting moderation

    The CIA had Democrat John F. Kennedy taken care of. He wanted to "Splinter The CIA 'Into A Thousand Pieces And Scatter It Into The Winds" after their efforts to topple the Cuban government failed and they were exposed for going behind his back.

    Their credibility for being a neutral agency working to protect the interests of the United States has been destroyed generations ago. THEY ARE the DEEP STATE along with the military industrial complex Eisenhower warned us about during his farewell address. The CIA works solely to topple regimes for corporate interests. In 1953 it was United Fruit, in 1963 it was General Dynamics, in 1979 they trained Osama bin Laden to fight as proxy against the Soviet Union and in 2018 it's Syria and Iran for Halliburton and Exxon.

    The film JFK highlights an insider "X" portrayed by Donald Sutherland. "X" was a member of the Joint Chiefs named L. Fletcher Prouty and his book revealing the tactics used by the CIA is called "The Secret Team; The CIA and it's Allies in Control of America and the World" The CIA actually tried to halt it's publication and even bought copies to prevent them from being read. Trump released the JFK files soon after his inauguration and the agency begged him to reconsider, so there are still some being held back to this day. What are they hiding? We already have the means, motive and opportunity for JFK"s killing. We are missing the names. Researchers believe it's George Bush Sr. who was in Dallas directing operations that fateful day. That day democracy died and the deep state coup d'etat took over.

    Trump wants out of foreign wars and nation building as did Kennedy, so the CIA discredits him and his legitimacy. Scaring America into believing their democracy is being hacked, when it's the deep state itself that controls our fate. This Russian meddling claim is a joke to anyone even remotely aware of the U.S. intelligence octopus that works for the interests of the oligarchs who really run the show. "Fifty men have run America, and that's a high figure." -Joseph Kennedy, July 26, 1936 issue of the New York Times.

  • Wolverin

    Hopefully Russian influence is so strong that they take out abc, nbc and cbs.
    Maybe then we will have real news...

  • carlzilla

    So if all lefty dems win there will be no collusion,BUT, if a conservative wins it's because he has colluded with Russia. Amazing. Obama's intelligence services still serve him well.

  • Sierra Foxtrot

    SEES and HOPES FOR are vastly different. They HOPE FOR so they don't look like such idiots this time around with made up stories and a media partnership.

  • ebenezeer

    How many times has the United States meddled in the elections of other countries arranged coups etc? None you say, guess again!! The US continuously meddles!!!

  • JiminGA

    So are the Russkies buying more ads on Facebook? Be afraid....very afraid.

  • UT Ex

    This is about one thing. After the media hyped the oncoming "blue wave" in the ID-terms, they now see the left is going to get trounce, and need a straw man to blame it on. Hence this new story line.

  • Troy Dynes

    Does this mean that the DNC is still working with Fusion GPS and the Russians on another smear campaign?

  • ih8france

    More unnamed "top officials" claim that Russia is interfering with our elections without telling us who, how, when, where or why. Interesting.

    The best part is the last paragraph stating how Americans are smart, and know when they're being manipulated. Like a bad salesman telling you how intelligent you must be to buy what they're selling.

    Give us some proof. Provide evidence. Show actual examples. So far the only group I have seen trying to manipulate American elections is the DNC. They derailed Sander's campaign, paid for fake intelligence on President Trump, manipulated our intelligence and law enforcement organizations, smuggled in millions of illegal aliens for votes, and somehow get dead people, pets and children to show up and provide 110% turn out in key districts. No wonder they're so bitter when they lose.

  • 908MadMan

    Democrats are damned fools.

  • Nuthaus

    Sure the Russians want to meddle. They want more democrats elected so they can resume pushing America around.

  • JR

    So the Democrats know they are going to be walked all over in the midterms and now this is going to be the excuse. They are already setting the stage to have an excuse waiting...ITS NOT THE RUSSIANS THAT WILL RESULT IN YOUR LOOSING....ITS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE NOT VOTING YOU IN!!!!

  • KatrinaAnon

    The idea was tieup American politics. No doubt the Russians were surprised how easily the Democrats and the media would help the Russians. Now the Russians will help get Democrats elected to further mire down or nation.

  • Ramon Vargas

    You know, back before the election, Putin said in RT Network: " There are people that believe that we in the Russian government are interfering in the American election. Putin added: "Who do they think we are, that we in the Russian government have the power to persuade the people of the USA, the most powerful country on Earth" Putin also said: "Americans are not stupid, they wouldn't be the USA if they were?" He finished by saying: "Now I don't doubt that some Russian patriots outside our government might be trying to hack their election, but our government is pure nonsense". Now the only thing I disagree with Putin is that we do have some stupid Americans otherwise we wouldn't have this Russian\Trump Collusion.

  • GrimmCreeper

    Sadly, the leftist high priest, Obama sat by and did nothing about the Russian threat. In fact, when warned about Russia being our greatest geopolitical threat, he took to mocking Romney with “The eighties are calling. They want their foreign policy back.”

  • truth exists

    This "reporting" from ABC is just a lame attempt to cover the increasingly obvious collusion between the corrupted upper echelon of intelligence agencies and other deep state traitors.

  • telleroftruth

    This has been going on, to some extent, for numerous election cycles. The real issue here is that neither party knows, for sure, who the Russians are working with. The Russians get a deal from the Clintons for 20% of American Uranium, support the Clintons, and then the Dems and the Clintons try to tell us the Russians colluded with the Trump team. That just doesn't make any sense! Remember that Obama, while President, tries to influence the Israeli elections.

  • grassfireu

    Yep, before you know it, we'll be sending our astronauts to work in Russian spaceships.

    If we don't watch it, those dang Russians will try to secure one-fifth of our Uranium mining capacity for their own!

  • sgb1

    All the more reason to have a voter id's. That way two or more countries cannot interfere in our elections. all Trump has ever said is that his campaign didn't collude with the Russians. The Democrats, now, have really colluded to the point of treason.

  • lloyd lee

    Trump should listen to Wray.

  • Native New Yorker

    Oh please.....this is all BS from the D-Rats to cover their manipulation.

  • Milton Friedman

    can the so called intelligence agencies please tell us which elections the Russians meddled in. Could it have been all of them maybe?

  • Milton Friedman

    Now you see why they couldn't catch in time, paddock in that Vegas massacre of Trump voters. They spend too much time chasing Russian ghosts.

  • fatticous

    When did we connect the voting system to the web.unless there is a Russian agent in my local precinct there isn't a whole lot of worries there.The funny thing about the whole Russian thing is why would they want to assist Trump get elected when they knew that Hillery would be a big wimp just like Obama and they could walk all over her.Lets get real here.

  • Fed Up

    These agencies are still doing the dirty work of the Clintons and Obama as they are trying to cover their collective asses for what THEY did. Still crying the Russians did it because if they don't first they will be seen as the liars they are and second they have no one to blame for Clinton/Democratic loss. They are setting it up as a cover for when they DON'T win next time as well. Instead of facing the fact that they are just screwed because of their lies and corruptness they are planting a cover story yet again. Excuses excuses.

  • mitch_Pawl

    Don’t you mean the Klinton crime family will be meddling in the election?? The Russians didn’t do anything in the last election. It was the Klintons.

  • Umaro The Hateful Hamster

    Intelligence Agencies: "If the Democrats win seats, then there wasn't Russian meddling, however if the Republicans maintain their seats or gain seats than it's due to the Russians."

  • Archibald_Bomwitz

    So what was this Russian meddling? The hacking of the two Democrat related emial-accounts of which none were Hillary Clinton's! One was the DNC's and it revealed how the DNC conspired against Bernie Sanders and the other was John Podesta's which revealed a lot about what kind of person he is! All emails by Hillary Clinton that were published were published in the context of the investigations into what Hillary Clinton had done!
    All the real negative material against Hillary Clinton was publicly known and it had been discussed in US media for a long time, some parts of it for several years. And everything was fact based and verified.