Trump's Spy Chief Says Russian Meddling Is a White House Priority

Trump administration plans sanctions aimed at Russian cyber meddling

There is intense scrutiny of the security of US election systems after a 2016 presidential race in which Russian Federation interfered, according to American intelligence agencies, to try to help Donald Trump win with presidency.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -Terrorism and cyber meddling by Russian Federation and other countries are some of the biggest threats to America and to national security, said former IN senator and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, when testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin "is going to be announcing those within a week", Coats told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee where he testified about worldwide threats.

Coats said that one of his "greatest concerns" is the "cyber threat".

Moscow denies seeking to meddle in the US vote.

Top intelligence officials, however, have said that so far, the US has responded weakly to Russia's disinformation campaign to sow discord in America and raise doubts about the integrity of the presidential election. Senator Mazie Hirono, a Democrat from Hawaii, asked who should lead efforts to counter Russian Federation with this year's elections "right around the corner". National Security Agency director Admiral Mike Rogers told senators last week that the president has given him no new authority or capability for that ahead of the midterms. Coats said the president told him, "I assume you're doing your job - all of you who head up these agencies relative to cyber - but if you need for me to say, direct you to do it, do it". "This is a high priority for them", he said.

Though a small number of networks were compromised, voting machines were not directly affected and there remains no evidence any vote was altered, according to USA officials and security experts. While the controversy has embroiled the president and many of his close associates in several congressional probes and the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, questions have lingered about whether the Trump administration is doing enough to punish Moscow and counter Russia's cyber operations. Trump has been criticized by Democrats and many Republicans in Congress for not rebuking Russian Federation over its interference in the 2016 campaign, including his comments that he accepted President Vladimir Putin's denial of meddling. "Nonstate actors will continue to use cyber operations for financial crime and to enable propaganda and messaging", the statement said.

Trump's nominee to lead the National Security Agency, Lieutenant General Paul Nakasone, told Senate Armed Services he did not think Russian Federation expected much of a USA response to cyber attacks.

Related news: