Homeland Security Official: Russian Government Actors Tried to Hack Election Systems in 21 States

In RUSSIA -- articles only, States, Voting On
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n a separate hearing before the House Intelligence Committee Tuesday, former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testified that Russia’s meddling, directed by President Vladimir Putin, was “unprecedented, the scale and the scope of what we saw them doing.” The testimony came a day after White House press secretary Sean Spicer said at a briefing he did not know whether President Trump believes Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

In addition to scanning voting systems for vulnerabilities, U.S. intelligence committees have said Russian hackers hacked and engineered the release of emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

“In retrospect, it would have been easy for me to say I should have brought a sleeping bag and camped out in front of the DNC in the late summer,” Johnson testified. He said the severity of Russia’s efforts convinced him to sign onto an Oct. 7 statement publicly blaming the Kremlin for what had happened, even though doing so might be perceived as “taking sides” or “challenging the integrity of the election itself.”

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