US intel sees signs of Russian meddling in midterms - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

US intel sees signs of Russian meddling in midterms

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik). FBI Director Christopher Wray, left, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, center, arrive for a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on worldwide threats, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik). FBI Director Christopher Wray, left, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, center, arrive for a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on worldwide threats, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik). From left, FBI Director Christopher Wray, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Robert Ashley, National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers, and Na... (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik). From left, FBI Director Christopher Wray, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Robert Ashley, National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers, and Na...
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik). Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., right, greets FBI Director Christopher Wray, left, before a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on worldwide threats, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik). Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., right, greets FBI Director Christopher Wray, left, before a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on worldwide threats, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in Washington.

By DEB RIECHMANN
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - 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 have seen Russian activity and intentions to have an impact on the next election cycle," CIA Director Mike Pompeo told the Senate intelligence committee.

National Intelligence Director Dan Coats and Adm. Mike Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency, agreed that Russia's interference is ongoing. "This is not going to change or stop," Rogers said.

They didn't describe the activity, other than to say it was related to information warfare.

"This is pervasive," Coats said. "The Russians have a strategy that goes well beyond what is happening in the United States. While they have historically tried to do these types of things, clearly in 2016 they upped their game. They took advantage, a sophisticated advantage of social media. They are doing that not only in the United States but doing it throughout Europe and perhaps elsewhere."

U.S. intelligence concluded Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election, which has led to the current FBI investigation into possible Trump campaign connections. Russia denies the allegations and President Donald Trump has called the FBI probe a witch hunt.

The three testified in Congress on the same day that the intelligence community released its annual report on global threats. The report predicted Russian intelligence agencies will disseminate more false information over Russian state-controlled media and through fake online personas to spread anti-American views and exacerbate social and political divides in the United States.

Pompeo had said earlier that he expected that Russia would insert itself in the midterms in which Republicans and Democrats will vie for control of the House and Senate. And last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Fox News that the U.S. is seeing "certain behaviors" of Russian meddling in elections in the Northern Hemisphere, including "in the U.S." this year. But the latest testimony actually confirmed that it is occurring.

Coats said the details of any meddling needs to be shared with the American people. He said there should be a national outcry - that people need to stand up and say, "We're not going to allow some Russian to tell us how to vote, how to run our country."

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said it's been more than a year since the 2016 election, but the U.S. still has no plan to battle foreign interference in elections. He criticized Trump for not issuing more sanctions against Russia in response to the meddling.

"He hasn't even tweeted a single concern," Warner said.

It's unclear what the U.S. is doing covertly to battle back.

But Coats acknowledged that the U.S. is "behind the curve" in coming up with policies to penalize those who hack America's critical infrastructure, interfere with elections, undermine the government or hit financial institutions.

Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, said he thinks the American people are better prepared to deal with Russian influence campaigns in the upcoming midterms and beyond. They have started to look askance at social media and attempts to influence their opinion, he said.

"The American people are smart people," Risch said. "They realize that there's people attempting to manipulate them, both domestically and foreign."

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Government shutdown endNational politicsMore>>

  • Congress has ideas on gun violence, but no consensus

    Congress has ideas on gun violence, but no consensus

    Sunday, February 25 2018 7:56 AM EST2018-02-25 12:56:12 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 2:47 PM EST2018-02-25 19:47:23 GMT
    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File). In this Feb. 21, 2018, photo, school students from Montgomery County, Md., in suburban Washington, rally in solidarity with those affected by the shooting at Parkland High School in Florida, at the Capitol in Washi...(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File). In this Feb. 21, 2018, photo, school students from Montgomery County, Md., in suburban Washington, rally in solidarity with those affected by the shooting at Parkland High School in Florida, at the Capitol in Washi...
    Members of Congress are returning to work after a 10-day break, and they're under great pressure to respond to the outcry over gun violence.More >>
    Members of Congress are returning to work after a 10-day break, and they're under great pressure to respond to the outcry over gun violence.More >>
  • Dems release Russia probe memo defending FBI surveillance

    Dems release Russia probe memo defending FBI surveillance

    Sunday, February 25 2018 12:35 AM EST2018-02-25 05:35:44 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 2:38 PM EST2018-02-25 19:38:16 GMT
    (Source: Raycom Media)(Source: Raycom Media)

    The Democratic document attempts to undercut and add context to some of the main points from a declassified Republican memo that was released earlier this month. 

    More >>

    The Democratic document attempts to undercut and add context to some of the main points from a declassified Republican memo that was released earlier this month. 

    More >>
  • Ivanka Trump: Visit to Olympics 'so incredibly inspiring'

    Ivanka Trump: Visit to Olympics 'so incredibly inspiring'

    Saturday, February 24 2018 10:05 PM EST2018-02-25 03:05:39 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 2:37 PM EST2018-02-25 19:37:59 GMT
    (AP Photo/Christophe Ena). Ivanka Trump waves during the third heat of the four-man bobsled competition final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018.(AP Photo/Christophe Ena). Ivanka Trump waves during the third heat of the four-man bobsled competition final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018.
    The U.S. president's daughter and adviser says her visit to the Olympics is "so incredibly inspiring" and is expressing gratitude at the chance to watch competition and "be here with our allies in South Korea.".More >>
    The U.S. president's daughter and adviser says her visit to the Olympics is "so incredibly inspiring" and is expressing gratitude at the chance to watch competition and "be here with our allies in South Korea.".More >>
  • NationalMore>>

  • Sweeping Georgia cybercrime bill would target 'snoopers'

    Sweeping Georgia cybercrime bill would target 'snoopers'

    Sunday, February 25 2018 10:26 AM EST2018-02-25 15:26:48 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 2:48 PM EST2018-02-25 19:48:55 GMT
    (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File). FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2018 file photo, Sen. Bruce Thompson, R - White, speaks about the the computer crime bill in Atlanta. Republican Attorney General Christopher Carr has backed a proposal tha...(Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File). FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2018 file photo, Sen. Bruce Thompson, R - White, speaks about the the computer crime bill in Atlanta. Republican Attorney General Christopher Carr has backed a proposal tha...
    Civil liberty advocates say a Georgia bill aimed at online "snoopers" would also criminalize those who check sports scores on their work computer _ or lie about their weight on online dating sites.More >>
    Civil liberty advocates say a Georgia bill aimed at online "snoopers" would also criminalize those who check sports scores on their work computer _ or lie about their weight on online dating sites.More >>
  • The Latest: Body found in southwestern Michigan floodwaters

    The Latest: Body found in southwestern Michigan floodwaters

    Sunday, February 25 2018 2:35 AM EST2018-02-25 07:35:46 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 2:48 PM EST2018-02-25 19:48:53 GMT
    (Liz Dufour/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP). A view from the Central Bridge shows the flooding from the Ohio River  Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 in Cincinnati.  Forecasters expected the Ohio River could reach levels not seen since the region's deadly 1997 f...(Liz Dufour/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP). A view from the Central Bridge shows the flooding from the Ohio River Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 in Cincinnati. Forecasters expected the Ohio River could reach levels not seen since the region's deadly 1997 f...
    2 dead as severe weather featuring possible tornadoes moves eastward through central US.More >>
    2 dead as severe weather featuring possible tornadoes moves eastward through central US.More >>
  • Billy Graham's body arrives at namesake library

    Billy Graham's body arrives at namesake library

    Saturday, February 24 2018 4:26 AM EST2018-02-24 09:26:05 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 2:48 PM EST2018-02-25 19:48:47 GMT
    (AP Photo/Nell Redmond, File). FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2010 file photo, evangelist Billy Graham, 92, speaks during an interview at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association headquarters in Charlotte, N.C. Graham, who died Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at h...(AP Photo/Nell Redmond, File). FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2010 file photo, evangelist Billy Graham, 92, speaks during an interview at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association headquarters in Charlotte, N.C. Graham, who died Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at h...
    The Rev. Billy Graham's body will be brought to his hometown of Charlotte on Saturday as part of a procession expected to draw crowds of well-wishers.More >>
    The Rev. Billy Graham's body will be brought to his hometown of Charlotte on Saturday as part of a procession expected to draw crowds of well-wishers.More >>
Powered by Frankly