Foreign Influence Investigations Spanning U.S. to Confront Election Threat

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At the White House press briefing Thursday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders brought in the big guns to address election interference, including National Security Adviser John Bolton, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said he's "not in a position to either understand fully or talk about what happened at Helsinki" between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin as he warned about malign activities from the Kremlin meant to influence the November vote.

During Thursday's White House press briefing, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats said his agency is meeting weekly with other agencies ahead of November's midterms.

The press briefing comes amidst a flurry of activity by the Trump administration, federal investigators and the tech industry concerning Russian efforts to influence U.S. elections.

Nakasone, who is also the commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, said the command and the NSA are both tracking a wide range of foreign cyber adversaries and "are prepared to conduct operations against those actors attempting to undermine our nation's midterm elections".

While defending his much-derided summit in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump said, "Russia's very unhappy Trump won, that I can tell you".

Stewart, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said he's often asked what he sees as the biggest threats to the U.S. Quoting a now retired military commander, he said Russian Federation is the only existential threat, North Korea is the most unsafe and China is the most complicated.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Bolton's letter did not address Democrats' concerns that the Trump administration was not fully implementing US sanctions on Russian Federation levied in response to the 2016 meddling.

The White House wants you to know it's taking threats to USA elections seriously.

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The US government on Thursday (Aug 2) accused Russian Federation of carrying out a "pervasive" campaign to influence public opinion and elections, in a warning just months before crucial legislative polls.

Mr Coats said Russian Federation was not the only country that was trying to intervene in United States elections, without elaborating.

A federal special counsel is leading a criminal investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election, and any possible cooperation with Trump's presidential campaign.

Bolton said Thursday that Trump is "leading unprecedented action to punish Russia" for its efforts to disrupt American elections.

Democrats and Republicans have lobbed criticisms at the Trump administration over their response to election interference.

Trump also increased US military spending in part to counter Russian aggression, according to Stewart.

For the first time since 2014, the number of Russians who said they had "positive" feelings towards the United States (42 percent) outweighed those who reported "negative" feelings (40 percent).

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

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