Friday, 23 March, 2018

U.S. plans news sanctions against Russian Federation to come 'within weeks'

US intelligence chief 'skeptical' on NKorea talks offer US intelligence chief 'skeptical' on NKorea talks offer
Theresa Hayes | 07 March, 2018, 12:12

"Whatever they do, we'll counteract it very strongly", the president said.

"We now face the most complex, volatile and challenging threat in modern times", said Coats.

Russia has rejected playing any role in the USA election, but the US intelligence community has concluded it was personally directed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. "In the next year, we assess Russian Federation will continue to use propaganda, social media, false flag personas, sympathetic spokesmen and other means of influence to try to build on its wide range of disruptive operations".

Under the Trump administration, the United States has also increased its own military spending to the highest numbers it since 2011, and according to the USA foreign policy reports, the spending is likely meant to target the growing strength of China and other potential threats across the globe.

At a March 6 hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, DNI Daniel Coats, who testified alongside Defense Intelligence Agency Director Robert Ashley, found himself frequently on defense, with senators expressing both impatience with the administration's lack of a cyber warfare doctrine and the lack of ownership of the election threat and information warfare issue inside government.

Ray CoatsTop state election official questions why Trump is downplaying threat of Russian election interference: report Russian bots turn to gun control after Florida high school shooting: report The case alleging Russian collusion is not closed MORE on Tuesday insisted that the White House is aware of and engaged on the issue of Russian threats to this year's midterm elections, amid fierce questioning from Democrats about what the Trump administration is doing to respond to potential threats.

"We have not seen evidence of a robust effort yet on the part of Russian Federation, but we know their malign activities continue to exist", Coats told a Senate Armed Services hearing on "Worldwide Threats".

The intelligence director echoed the concerns of Navy Admiral Michael Rogers, the outgoing chief of the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command, who told lawmakers last week that Russian Federation hadn't "paid a price" for election interference.

The sanctions would blacklist "those individuals that have been complicit in this", Coats told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Last week, Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, the next head of U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, also has told the Senate committee that nations including China and Russian Federation that launch cyberattacks against the U.S. don't fear retribution and see no reason to change their behavior. General "100 percent" confident in USA missile defense Trump official denies United States planning "bloody nose" strike on North Korea House Oversight Committee opens probe into sexual abuse of gymnasts MORE (D-N.H.).

Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., said saying the administration is taking a "whole of government approach" is essentially saying "it's somebody else's job".

Coats said intelligence agencies have been providing intelligence on the matter continuously to the administration. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) that "we don't" have an official government policy on Russian election interference.