A top USA intelligence official has expressed caution, saying that Russian Federation views United States mid-term elections slated for November as a potential target for its influence operations, including cyber attacks.
"Persistent and disruptive cyber operations will continue against the United States and our European allies using elections as opportunities to undermine democracy", he told an annual Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on worldwide threats. Also, Pakistan keeps on threatening U.S. interests by deploying new nuclear weapons capabilities, maintaining its ties to terrorists, restricting counterterrorism cooperation, and drawing closer to China, Coats said in his testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Tuesday.
"We expect Russian Federation to continue using propaganda social media, false flag personas, sympathetic spokesmen and other means to influence to try to build on its wide range of operations and exacerbate social and political fissures in the United States", he said.
The U.S. intelligence community said in a report last January that the Kremlin ordered a campaign to influence the 2016 election that aimed to undermine faith in the democratic process, discredit then-candidate Hillary Clinton, and help then-candidate Trump.
"We've seen Russian activity and intentions to have an impact on the next election cycle here", he said.
"This is pervasive", Coats said.
The top intelligence officials all agreed on Tuesday that Russian Federation intends to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections.
During the hearing, Rogers and Wray told senators that they had disagreed with Trump's decision to release a controversial memo written by staff for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).
American intelligence officials said that Russian hackers are scanning American electoral systems and using bot armies on social media to spread propaganda.
Pompeo had said earlier that he expected that Russian Federation would insert itself in the midterms in which Republicans and Democrats will vie for control of the House and Senate.
What do you think of the news that Russian Federation may interfere with the midterm elections?
"Let me be clear".
Much of the Committee session focused on the topic of Russian meddling in USA elections and cyber threats posed by Russian agencies and related organizations, however many Senators at the meeting also expressed concern over China's activities across the globe.
"It is our hope and our belief that before the primaries begin, we intend to have an overview of our findings that will be public", Burr said.
Coats' sentiments were universally shared among the chiefs of America's intelligence agencies - including the CIA, FBI, National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency.
"This committee has been working toward both of those goals of trying to sure up critical infrastructure on Election Day, as well as alert people to and decide what might be done on the other side of the ledger", Blunt said.
Director of national intelligence Dan Coats agreed.
"North Korea will be the most volatile and confrontational WMD threat in the coming year", he said.
"I'm not berating the president, I'm urging the president because I think he could separate these two issues", he said.