Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Ex-DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson defends Obama handling of Russian meddling

Melinda Barton | 29 June, 2017, 08:58

But he told the US House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating alleged Russian meddling in the election, that the notices did not get the attention he would have liked, blaming the emergence of a 2005 tape - in which Mr Trump brags about sexually assaulting women - for distracting the American public.

Warner said it was "stunning" intelligence officials appear to have not relayed information related to the election systems attacks in those 21 states.

He started off by stating that the former Homeland Security Adviser Jeh Johnson was the latest intelligence official to deny any connections between the Trump campaign & Russian Federation.

Trump also cast doubt on whether Russian Federation did anything to affect the election, referring to such efforts speculatively though Johnson testified definitively about the Kremlin's involvement. "Why didn't they stop them?"

Johnson said Russian hacking didn't change election totals, but he can't be sure other meddling didn't influence public opinion.

Testifying before the Congressional committee, an official from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) confirmed the number of states targeted by hackers seeking to affect the electoral results. "In retrospect, it would be easy for me to say that I should have bought a sleeping bag and camped out in front of the DNC in late summer".

"In 2016, the Russian government, at the direction of [President] Vladimir Putin himself, orchestrated cyberattacks on our nation for the objective of influencing our election - plain and simple", Johnson said.

Officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have confirmed reports that Russian attempts to swing the 2016 United States presidential election also involved cyber-attacks against election infrastructure, but not vote tallying systems.

The Senate intelligence committee, which also is examining Moscow's interference in the campaign, is holding a separate hearing Wednesday with officials from DHS and the FBI's counterintelligence division.

In the aftermath of their loss to Donald Trump in November, Democrats have cited the email hack as a main reason why they lost, yet still haven't turned over the DNC server for investigation or analysis.

Scott McConnell with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security referred questions about which states were subject to cyber-attacks to state officials.

Trump and his top aides have said they want to see a full and thorough review of what happened during the election, but Trump has continually raised questions about whether anything actually happened. 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. The efforts by Russian agents were largely aimed at obtaining voter registration information, the committee was told. White House spokesman Sean Spicer declined to answer a question this week about whether Trump believes that Russian Federation meddled in the election.

"Prior to Election Day, I also personally reviewed with the CEO of The Associated Press its long-standing election-day reporting process, including the redundancies and safeguards in its systems", Johnson said.