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US Intelligence Chief Warns Russia Might Meddle In Midterm Polls


The director of national intelligence has warned that the Russian Government is continuing its attempts to meddle in US politics, and sees the mid-term congressional elections in November as a "potential target."

"There should be no doubt that Russia perceives that its past efforts have been successful and views the 2018 midterm US elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations," Daniel Coats told a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing Tuesday.

Emails released by Donald Trump's son Donald Jr. confirming that Russian operatives met members of the Trump campaign team at Trump Tower in June 2016 to provide information that would "incriminate" Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had strengthened accusation that Trump collided with Russia in the presidential election.

The President is facing multiple investigations in this regard.

Besides Coats, the heads of the CIA, FBI, NSA and two other spy agencies were unanimous during the testimony in saying that Moscow's efforts to disrupt US politics are as intense now as they were in the 2016 presidential election.

Coats presented a list of the most urgent worldwide threats that the United States is facing.

It's a measure of the growth of cyber and America's vulnerability to it that the director of national intelligence chose to highlight at the hearing.

"Frankly, the United States is under attack -- under attack by entities that are using cyber to penetrate virtually every major action that takes place in the United States," Coats told the panel.

Russia, China, Iran and North Korea pose the greatest cyber threats, he said.

"Some of these actors, including Russia, are likely to pursue even more aggressive cyberattacks with the intent of degrading our democratic values and weakening our alliances," the intelligence chief said.

He also warned that persistent and disruptive cyber operations will continue against the United States and its European allies, "using elections as opportunities to undermine democracy, sow discord and undermine our values."

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