A slew of top USA officials including Coats, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen vowed to investigate and prosecute those who were trying to sway United States opinion or carrying out what Wray described as "information warfare".
The government seeks to meet the threat by working with state and local election officials to protect voting systems from cyberattacks and to block Russian Federation and others from engaging in them, the officials said. Homeland security chief Kirstjen Nielsen said: "Our democracy is in the crosshairs".
Trump's protestations aside, Manafort worked on the campaign during a critical six-month period in 2016, during which he led the effort to ensure Trump won the Republican nomination.
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For one, he argued, it's "an expression of an opinion" like the White House said.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Wednesday brushed back criticism of President Trump's controversial tweet urging Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the Russian Federation probe, telling reporters he was merely voicing his "opinion". Trump called any talk of collusion "a Hoax".
FBI Director Christopher Wray listened during the daily press briefing at the White House, today, in Washington. U.S. media have claimed he has "ties" to Russian President Vladimir Putin, pointing to the Azeri businessman receiving the Order of Honor in 2013. Legal experts have pointed out, however, that if any individuals are found to have collaborated with Russian Federation during the 2016 election, they could be charged with crimes such as conspiracy. The president then lashed out at Robert Mueller, comparing the special counsel's entourage to a biased angry and anti-Republican mob only interested in causing further trouble for the Trump administration.
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But the line between registering an opinion or governing by tweet has bedeviled the White House from the start, even when former press secretary Sean Spicer declared tweets could be official White House statements. "Now, if only it was actually backed up by anything the president has said or done on Russian Federation".
The Secure Elections Act, a bill proposed by Klobuchar and Lankford and cosponsored by 10 other senators, s aimed at bolstering the state and federal response to cybersecurity and other threats posed in the elections, including by giving state officials security clearances to evaluate classified intelligence and respond to potential threats while also requiring auditing procedures after the elections to ensure the results can be verified.
Congress is now considering a sanctions bill created to deter Russian Federation.
Wray told reporters that compared to 2016, in 2018, "We are not yet seeing the same kind of efforts to specifically target election infrastructure", but that other efforts to influence public opinion continue.
In a letter to Senate Democrats Thursday, he says: "President Trump has not and will not tolerate interference in America's system of representative government".
"We meet on this constantly", Bolton said. Mr. Trump has put his lawyers in the vexing position of trying to follow the desires of their client while seeking to protect him from legal jeopardy at the same time.
Democrats scoffed at that suggestion. Sen.