Trump disputes Russian interference in 2016 election

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is sworn in to the House Intelligence Committee task force on Capitol Hill in Washington Wednesday

Trump disputes Russian interference in 2016 election

That is correct, the DHS acting deputy undersecretary responded.

Russian Federation tried to break into election systems in nearly two dozen states past year, and they are likely to try again. As a result, some 122 local election offices received phishing emails.

Warner on Tuesday sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly asking the agency to disclose more information about hacking attempts on state and local election systems.

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.

During Johnson's testimony, Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of SC asked the former homeland security secretary whether before he left the department in January he saw "any evidence that Donald Trump or any member of his campaign colluded, conspired, or coordinated with the Russians or anyone else to infiltrate or impact our voter infrastructure?" University of MI computer science and engineering professor J. Alex Halderman told the Intelligence Committee Wednesday that he knows America's voting machines are vulnerable, because he and his colleagues have attacked them repeatedly. South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy asked Johnson at one point in the hearing. But do you believe that Director Comey would have opened a counterintelligence investigation on a presidential campaign lightly or on mere hunch? He said he became aware of the compromise "sometime in 2016" and that when he pressed his staff on whether the Homeland Security Department had been sufficiently proactive to help identify the intruders and patch vulnerabilities, the answer wasn't reassuring.

"Claims that Russian hackers had some influence on last year's U.S. presidential elections have sparked a wave of scepticism around the safety of electronic voting here in the United Kingdom", said Pete Turner, consumer security expert at Avast, which carried out the survey.

The fact that private data was stolen from states is separately providing investigators a previously unreported line of inquiry in the probes into Russian attempts to influence the election.

At that point, Johnson and James R. Clapper, then the director of national intelligence, issued a joint statement accusing Moscow of cyber "thefts and disclosures ... meant to interfere with the USA election process" and of attempts "by a Russian company" to break in to state voter registration databases. 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.

"The FBI and the DNC had been in contact with each other months before about the intrusion", Johnson said, "and the DNC did not feel it needed DHS' assistance at the time". He says it's not acceptable for the government to keep the full scope of the attacks secret.

"In one case, investigators found there had been a manipulation of voter data in a county database but the alterations were discovered and rectified", sources told the magazine.

Former homeland security secretary Jeh Johnson.

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.

"There have been reports that their ability to target this information, some reports at least saying that in the last week of the campaign in certain precincts in Wisconsin and MI and Pennsylvania there was so much misinformation coming talking about Hillary Clinton's illnesses or Hillary Clinton stealing money from the State Department or other". "Those who expressed negative views stated that running elections in this country was the sovereign and exclusive responsibility of the states, and they did not want federal intrusion, a federal takeover, or federal regulation of that process".

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