Published: Sat, February 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Pakistan, India-China ties to worsen, says report by U.S. intelligence chief

Pakistan, India-China ties to worsen, says report by U.S. intelligence chief

Three of the nation's top intelligence officials confirmed Tuesday that they have seen evidence of Russian meddling in the upcoming midterm elections - part of what they say is Moscow's escalating cyber assault on American and European democracies.

"We need to inform the American public that this is real", Coats said Tuesday. "This threat did not begin in 2016, and it certainly didn't end with the election".

All of that information was reportedly sent to the F.B.I., helping provide the technical basis for US intelligence to conclude that Russian Federation was behind the hacking of the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign. The other chiefs echoed this comment, though Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo - a close ally of the president - said it is taking steps to block Russian efforts.

Coats said no single agency, but said that they were getting more support from the private sector (edge providers primarily).

President Trump initially dismissed the intelligence community's assessment that Moscow meddled in the 2016 elections, before acknowledging it and then later casting doubt on the findings while suggesting he lost the popular vote due to electoral fraud (see Report: Russia's US Election Interference Was Widespread).

"At a minimum, we expect Russian Federation to continue using propaganda, social media, false-flag personas, sympathetic spokespeople, and other means of influence to try to exacerbate social and political fissures in the United States", he said.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told a congressional committee on Tuesday that Russian Federation and other foreign entities were likely to attack American and European elections this year and beyond, adding that Moscow believes similar efforts successfully undermined United States democracy two years ago.

"Third, the Russian effort utilised our social media platforms to push and spread misinformation at an unprecedented scale".

Wozniacki through to Qatar semis and keeps top ranking
Her victory also ensured that for the fifth consecutive year, the Qatar title will not be retained by the defending champion. The umpire said he thought everything was "regular", but Wozniacki added: "It's the only way she can win".

FBI Director Christopher Wray said the bureau is undertaking "a lot of specific activities" to counter Russian meddling but was "not specifically directed by the president".

Reed pressed on his question: "Passing on relevant intelligence is not actively disrupting the operations of an opponent".

"We have discussed plans going forward to ensure meddling in our elections by Russians or other powers around the world will be rebutted and that we'll continue to develop the kind of technologies that ensure and maintain the integrity of our electoral system", he said of his briefings with USA intelligence officials. "I'm happy to talk about it in closed session".

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein asked whether US intelligence has looked into what it might take to bring North Korea to the negotiating table, but Pompeo declined to discuss the subject during a public hearing.

Asked whether the adversary knows about US actions, he said, "I'd prefer to leave that for another forum".

"The decision time is becoming ever closer in terms of how we respond" Coats said in rfesponse to North Korea's weapons development.

Feinstein said she had participated in a classified briefing recently on North Korea and described it as "difficult and harsh". "It is my personal view - and it's shared by many people - that they are carrying out a well-orchestrated, well-executed, very patient, long-term strategy to replace the United States as the most powerful, influential nation on earth".

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