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Trump Reportedly Still Doesn't Believe That Russia Interfered In The 2016 Election

14 February, 2018, 19:22 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • US intelligence chiefs also said North Korea’s nuclear program poses a potential ‘existential threat’ to the country and that the time is nearing for Washington to respond to that danger. Above CIA director Mike Pompeo

"Pakistan will continue to threaten U.S. interests by deploying new nuclear weapons capabilities, maintaining its ties to militants, restricting counter-terrorism cooperation, and drawing closer to China", the report states.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told a Senate intelligence committee hearing on Tuesday about global threats facing the United States.

"I agree with you that the decision time is becoming ever closer, in terms of how we respond to this", Coats said in response to a question from Sen.

"The 2018 U.S. midterm elections are a potential target for Russian influence operations".

CIA Director Mike Pompeo told the BBC several weeks ago that he believes North Korea may be able to strike the US within "a handful of months".

Under questioning from Maine Senator Susan Collins about the President's attacks on the FBI, FBI director Christopher Wray said, "It's the finest group of professionals and public servants I could hope to work for".

The disconnect between Trump and his senior-most intelligence advisers has raised concerns that the USA government will not be able to mount an effective plan to beat back Russian influence operations in the midterm election. Russian Federation also appears eager to spread information - real and fake - that deepens political divisions, including purported evidence that ties Trump to Russian Federation, and its efforts to influence the 2016 election.

But a large volume of information has surfaced on Russian use of social media to influence public opinion in U.S. public policy debates. But there is still no coordinated national strategy to counter similar Russian operations this year.

"The Russians utilise this tool because it's relatively cheap, it's low risk, it offers what they perceive as plausible deniability, and it is proven to be effective at sowing division", Mr Coats told the Senate panel.

Coats said that Russian Federation will continue using propaganda, false personas and social media to undermine the upcoming election.

However US intelligence agents believe that Pakistan "will maintain ties to these militants while restricting counter-terrorism cooperation with the United States", he said.

They stridently deny the Trump campaign might have conspired with the Russian attack - and have gone on offense against their own Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department in charging them with bias and abuse of power. But none of the six said the president had specifically done so.

Coats said, "We take all kinds of steps to disrupt Russian activities".

"We have a significant effort" to rebuff Moscow, he said. "There may be others participating as well, to do our best to push back against this threat".

"We expect to see North Korea press ahead with additional missile tests this year, and its foreign minister has threatened an atmospheric nuclear test over the Pacific", he said.

Coats said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is determined to develop long-range nuclear missiles capable of striking the US, which Coats said Kim views as critical to his country's security.

Coats said Russian election interference remains a serious problem.

"Our goal is a peaceful settlement", he stressed. "China will continue to expand its weapons of mass destruction options and diversify its nuclear arsenal".

Separately, Mr Coats stressed the USA government's repeated failure to craft a full year's budget, and the large fiscal deficits, constitute another important security threat.

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

"The failure to address our long-term fiscal situation has increased the national debt to over US$20 trillion (S$26.4 trillion) and growing".

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