DHS Officials: Russia Targeted 21 States in Presidential Election

June 21, 2017 U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials testified on Wednesday in simultaneous hearings held by the Senate and House Intelligence Committees on Russia’s meddling in the 2016 Presidential election.

Several top DHS cyber-security officials testifying at the Senate Intelligence hearing told lawmakers the agency has obtained evidence that the Kremlin targeted election systems in 21 states during the 2016 Presidential election.

Acting Director of Undersecretary, National Protection and Programs Directorate, Jeanette Manfra told lawmakers that Russia engaged in a sustained computer hacking and public opinion manipulation campaign ahead of the 2016 election. Next, DHS Acting Director of Cyber Division, Office of Intelligence and Analysis Samuel Liles warned members of the Senate Intellegence Committee and a panel of experts he “absolutely” expects Russia will “continue to conduct influence operations” in the United States.

Meanwhile, former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told members of U. S. House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday that it is a “Fact” that Russia meddled in 2016 Presidential election. Johnson said he became aware of Russia’s interference in the state election systems “sometime in 2016.” Johnson told lawmakers the FBI and Democratic National Committee (DNC) were in contact with each other months before he knew about the intrusion, but the did not feel it needed Homeland Security’s assistance at that time. Former DHS Secretary Johnson further testified:

“The Russian government, at the direction of Vladimir Putin… orchestrated cyber attacks on our nation.”

The former and current Department of Homeland Security officials are the latest federal government officials to confirm that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. Senate intelligence committee chairman Richard Burr asked DHS officials if there is any evidence votes were changed by these Russian cyber efforts, both directors’ Liles and Mandes replied “no sir.”

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