23 June, 2017
At a separate hearing, a current Homeland Security official, Jeanette Manfra, told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the agency has evidence that Russian Federation targeted election-related systems in 21 of the 50 USA states.
Trump, frequently lashes out at the Russian Federation investigation as a "witch hunt" spearheaded by Democrats. The Washington Post reported last week that Mueller was investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice, as well as probing Russia's activities to influence the election and whether there was any collusion between Russian Federation and Trump's campaign.
Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., complained that the official work of investigating and explaining Russia's mischief past year was hamstrung by all the secrecy about what had been compromised. Dianne Feinstein of California, said it was an introductory meeting aimed at working to ensure the congressional investigations don't conflict with the one led by Mueller. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, said at a March 30 hearing.
A portrait of Russia's cyberattacks on the US emerged Wednesday as current and former USA officials told Congress that Russian Federation stockpiled stolen information and selectively disseminated it during the 2016 presidential campaign to undermine the US political process.
That is correct, the DHS acting deputy undersecretary responded.
Halderman warned that there's no doubt that Russian Federation has the technical ability to commit hostile attacks against the US election system. It could also require election officials to receive training on how to recognize hacking tactics like phishing. Republican Senator Susan Collins of ME also noted that no secretary of state has yet been given a security clearance to get classified information from the federal government.
The experts - which come from various industries, from business and academia to technology non-profits - signed a letter addressed to Congress on Wednesday suggesting how three major objectives need to take place to protect the integrity of the system and restore voter confidence.
President Trump in a tweet Thursday singled out former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson's testimony before a House panel investigating Russian Federation as proof "no grand scheme" existed between him and Moscow.
"Based on everything I know, that is correct", Johnson told Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, "I know of no evidence that, through cyber-intrusions, votes were altered or suppressed in some way".
Russian diplomat condemns US for downing Syrian fighter jet
Russia, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al Assad, has been providing air cover to the government's offensive since 2015. The U.S. anti-ISIS mission noted that it repeatedly warned pro-Syrian regime forces over the now cut deconfliction channel.
Johnson said the reaction of state officials ranged from "neutral to negative" because they feared a federal takeover.
Johnson was asked by Republican South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy whether he had seen evidence of collusion or coordination between Trump and associates and Russian Federation while he was still in office. But do you believe that Director Comey would have opened a counterintelligence investigation on a presidential campaign lightly or on mere hunch?
"For election cybersecurity, our department - in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and others - is leading the partnerships with the states and locals", said Manfra with Homeland Security.
Homeland Security officials confirmed at the Senate hearing that the Russian hacks breached electoral systems in 21 states - though only IL and Arizona have been made public and the details of the penetrations remain secret.
"One of the candidates, as you'll recall, was predicting that the election was going to be rigged in some way". When Donald Trump doesn't want to face reality, he calls facts conspiracies or hoaxes.
"I'm concerned that manipulating voter registration databases could be used to try to sabotage the election process on Election Day", Halderman said. State election officials have been at pains to reassure voters that election registration databases are not linked to vote counting, and that USA voting machines are not connected to the internet.
Johnson also said his department offered to help the Democratic National Committee secure its systems after hackers breached it last summer, but that the DNC declined. He says it's not acceptable for the government to keep the full scope of the attacks secret.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security emblem is pictured at the National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) located just outside Washington in Arlington, Virginia September 24, 2010. "So anything I'd have on that is derivative of what the intelligence community has - and the law enforcement community".
In early August 2016, he says he even "floated the idea" of designating American election infrastructure as critical. And state officials must apply tougher cybersecurity safeguards to voting equipment and elections management.
DHS officials have so far refused to name the other 19 states where registration data was probed, much to the dismay of Sen.