Fractious politics, debt pose security threats: US intelligence director

Trump still unsure Russia interfered in election CNN sources

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"The 2018 US mid-term elections are a potential target for Russian influence operations", it says.

In addition to North Korea, the report also singled out Russia, China and Iran as posing the greatest cyber threats to the US.

Leaders of US intelligence agencies warned on Tuesday that Russian Federation will try to interfere in the 2018 USA midterm elections by using social media to spread propaganda and misleading reports, much as it did in the 2016 campaign.

Recall that President Donald Trump famously denies that Russian Federation tried to interfere, even though American intelligence agencies unanimously believe Moscow wanted Trump to win and worked hard to ensure he did.

"Yes, we have seen Russian activity and intentions to have an impact on the next election cycle here", said CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

In unequivocal language, Coats said Russian President Vladimir Putin was emboldened by Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential elections and is targeting the midterms.

Coats said he expected that Pyongyang would continue missile testing into 2018.

Trump has been skeptical about the intelligence assessment that Russian Federation meddled ever since he was first briefed on the issue during the presidential transition.

The assembled leaders of the intelligence community at the witness table couldn't say whether Trump had specifically directed them to counter Russian election meddling, when asked by Rhode Island Democratic Sen. At Tuesday's hearing, several committee members expressed support for the intelligence officials.

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The midterm elections are slated for November 6.

The Intelligence Committee chairman, Richard Burr (R-N.C.), said as the hearing ended that he hopes to conclude parts of his panel's probe fairly soon. "Frankly, the United States is under attack".

Russian Federation was at the center of the committee's annual hearing on worldwide threats where the heads of the nation's top spy agencies were represented, a group which also included Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Director Robert Cardillo.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats added that the American public needs to know that this interference "is real" and that the country needs to build a system to protect elections from meddling.

"The provocative nature and the instability Kim has demonstrated is potentially a significant threat to the United States". "I think the American people are ready for this".

"There's no shortage of opinions about our agency", FBI Director Christopher Wray said in response to a question from Sen.

"This committee has been working toward both of those goals of trying to sure up critical infrastructure on Election Day, as well as alert people to and decide what might be done on the other side of the ledger", Blunt said.

It further warned that Pakistan's "eroding position relative to India", persisting economic weakness and domestic security issues will "exacerbate" its long-held fears of global isolation and drive it to actions that run counter to U.S. goals in the region.

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