White House asserts 'vast' effort to protect elections

White House asserts 'vast' effort to protect elections

White House asserts 'vast' effort to protect elections

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, FBI Director Chris Wray, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, National Security Agency Director Paul Nakasone and National Security Adviser John Bolton all expressed commitment to thwarting foreign efforts to sow discord in the US and influence upcoming elections.

"We have not seen that kind of robust campaign from them so far", Coats said in a briefing at the White House on Thursday.

On Thursday, Coats reiterated that Russian Federation is "looking for every opportunity, regardless of party" to disrupt USA elections.

The White House brought out five top intelligence and national security officials to answer questions on Thursday, demonstrating a united front on fighting Russian election meddling even as the President continues to cast doubt on the issue.

"Our democracy itself is in the crosshairs", Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kristen Nielsen said in language much stronger than the president himself has used.

The White House is looking to tamp down criticism that President Donald Trump has appeared reluctant to hold Russian Federation accountable for election tampering.

He not only confirmed that Russia continues in attempts to meddle in US elections, but also that this includes Russian individuals, the Kremlin, "and even add to that". "We also know the Russians tried to hack into and steal information from candidates and government officials alike", Coats declared.

During the rally in Pennsylvania on Thursday, Trump did not mention allegations of interference or attacks on the U.S. democratic process.

Trump has mulled easing sanctions against Moscow, held warm meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and refused to criticise him over the meddling in the 2016 election.

Another former Clinton campaign adviser, Philippe Reines, told The Washington Post that the "common denominator" shared by protesters gathering in front of the White House was a desire to see accountability from leadership in the Trump administration.

The former Clinton adviser, whose father is Ukrainian, said he thought protests outside of the White House would be more effective than similar anti-corruption demonstrations in his father's home country.

In an effort to thwart interference in USA elections, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden said he hoped to win support for his bill that would require the use of paper ballots for voting.

The NSA director said his agency and US Cyber Command were "prepared to conduct operations against those actors attempting to undermine our nation's midterm elections".

He said: "My guidance and the direction from the President and Secretary of Defence is very clear: We're not going to accept meddling in elections". "We discussed everything. We got along really well. Our adversaries have shown they have the willingness and capability to interfere in our elections".

"He makes my job harder with some of his tweets and some of the things he said in that press conference are an example of that", Stewart said.

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