Trump disputes Russian interference in 2016 election

Former Homeland Security agency chief Jeh Johnson said at a House Intelligence Committee hearing that the extent of Russian hacking into computer files at the Democratic party headquarters in Washington and attempts to infiltrate state election records went significantly beyond past Russian efforts to influence us elections. Trump went on to add that if there had in fact been an attempted interference by the Russian government, former President Barack Obama should have tried to stop it.

"One of the candidates, as you'll recall, was predicting that the election was going to be rigged in some way".

TRUMP, in a tweet Thursday: "Former Homeland Security Advisor Jeh Johnson is latest top intelligence official to state there was no grand scheme between Trump & Russia".

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says cyberattacks orchestrated by the Russian government did not alter any ballots, ballot counts or the reporting of election results.

Spicer claimed he hadn't had an opportunity to talk to the president about it - a shocking admission, given that the intelligence community started investigating such attempts before Trump was even in office.

This news follows a report claiming that hackers attacked voting databases in 39 states.

Trump then denounced the issue of Russian hacking as a Democratic "scam". "But, I have no doubt that it will continue", he said.

If Trump wants someone to blame for the US government not doing enough to stop Russia's interference, which Trump apparently does not even believe happened, he should take a long hard look at his own party.

Testifying before a congressional panel on Wednesday, Jeanette Manfra, the Homeland Security Department's acting deputy undersecretary of cyber security, disclosed the number publicly for the first time.

Ryabkov also criticized the US for "not having offered and not offering anything specific" to discuss at the upcoming talks.

What he said was that he was not aware of efforts by Mr Trump or his campaign to collude with Russian Federation beyond what the intelligence community already knows.

Literally, the first line of Johnson's remarks to the House Intelligence Committee states: "In 2016 the Russian government, at the direction of Vladimir Putin himself, orchestrated cyberattacks on our Nation for the goal of influencing our election - plain and simple".

In a public hearing into election hacking held by the Senate Intelligence Committee, the DHS' acting director of the cyber division, Dr Samuel Liles, claimed that the electoral systems of 21 as-yet-unnamed states were tested by hackers from the Russian government in October previous year.

"The DNC was contacted by [the Department of Homeland Security] months after the DNC worked closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to remedy the intrusion". "To have the number of states that were hacked into or attempted to be hacked into still kept secret is just insane in my mind". He said 33 states and 36 cities and counties used his department's tools to scan for potential vulnerabilities.

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 US election process" and of attempts "by a Russian company" to break in to state voter registration databases. Haas said Wisconsin was among states that accepted the agency's offer to do a cyber-scan of its elections system.

Clinton has blamed the disclosure of the emails on a daily basis as one reason for her stunning upset loss to Trump, although Johnson said he had no idea about their importance in analyzing the outcome.

Johnson, who served in the post until January, says he became aware of the compromise "sometime in 2016".

Jeh Johnson, the former secretary of homeland security, says his concerns about a cyberattack against USA election systems grew during the summer of 2016.

While DHS has not released which states' voter registration systems had been targeted, Manfra confirmed that no vote tallies were altered. According to Johnson's testimony, the administration had known months before in mid-August about Russian efforts to target state electoral systems.

Suggesting that the investigation into Russian hacking of USA voting systems has only just begun, officials said on Wednesday that the extent of the hacking was much deeper than originally reported: Russian hackers were able to obtain and change voter information - and steal tens of thousands of voter records, including social security numbers.

Johnson also made it plain that Democrats didn't take the problem too seriously: "The FBI and the DNC had been in contact with each other months before about the intrusion, and the DNC did not feel it needed DHS's assistance at that time".

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