Poll finds warmer feelings for America in Russian Federation after Putin-Trump summit

John Bolton the White House national security adviser outlines the Trump administration's efforts to stop Russian meddling

During a visit to the White House's daily press briefing with other top national security officials who were there to talk about Russian interference in the 2018 elections, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats was asked what he knew about the Trump-Putin summit.

The officials all said that Russian Federation is engaged in continued efforts to meddle in United States elections with influence and misinformation campaigns, but emphasized that it's not yet at the scale that U.S. intelligence agencies saw in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election.

During Thursday's White House press briefing, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats said his agency is meeting weekly with other agencies ahead of November's midterms.

'We see Russians are looking for every opportunity, regardless of party, regardless of whether or not it applies to the election to continue their pervasive efforts to undermined the fundamental values, ' Coats said.

During the briefing, which was also attended by Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, national security adviser John Bolton and National Security Agency chief Paul Nakasone, officials said Trump had "specifically directed us to make the matter of election meddling and securing our election process a top priority".

"Our democracy itself is in the crosshairs", declared Nielsen of the DHS, adding that the department has seen "willingness and capability on part of the Russians" to meddle, but not specifying if any meddling has actually taken place.

A senior US official said the Russian meddling campaign had accelerated and grown more sophisticated since the 2016 election and was not directed at boosting one political party over another.

Nakasone, who is also the commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, said the command and the NSA are both tracking a wide range of foreign cyber adversaries and "are prepared to conduct operations against those actors attempting to undermine our nation's midterm elections".

U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats White House National Security Advisor John Bolton FBI Director Christopher Wray National Security Agency Director General Paul Nakasone and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen

During the rally in Pennsylvania on Thursday, Trump did not mention allegations of interference or attacks on the USA democratic process.

He said the hackers were trying to steal information from candidates and government officials and were seeking to influence voters through social media bots.

"Throughout our history America's churches and religious leaders have called for change and have inspired us to care and bring hope back to those in need", Trump said. "But if anyone helped Russian Federation to hack/steal they deserve justice", said Republican operative Ari Fleischer.

Both Russia's President Vladimir Putin and China's President Xi Jinping want to weaken the US, and Xi has a plan to make his country the "not a peer to the United States but the single dominant power in the world" by 2048, the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party in China, the Utah Republican said.

In an effort to thwart interference in USA elections, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden said he hoped to win support for his bill that would require the use of paper ballots for voting.

"This is about exploiting the fault lines that exist in our society and building on what was done in 2016, and it isn't confined to the internet - it includes print and television, as well, in some cases using existing platforms that predate the 2016 election", the official said.

"Since January 2017, the president has taken decisive action to defend our election systems from meddling and interference", Bolton said.


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