Trump Tweetstorm Disputes Russian Interference in 2016 Election

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WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Donald Trump thinks the hacking that occurred during the 2016 election "probably was Russian Federation", a White House spokeswoman said Thursday, days after White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters he didn't know if Trump believed the hacking was carried out by Russian Federation. But that statement he said "did not get the attention it should have", because of the release of the Access Hollywood tape that day - in which then-candidate Trump boasted of groping and kissing women.

"My interest in helping them was definitely of nonpartisan interest, and I recall very clearly that I was not pleased that we were not in there helping them patch this vulnerability", Johnson said.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is pushing back on a growing narrative that it turned down valuable help from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to thwart Russian hackers.

Schultz said she would have accepted help from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "That is a fact, plain and simple", Johnson testified in the House. He said he first raised the issue with states in a conference call in mid-August, after seeing "troubling reports" of scanning and probing activities around various state voter registration databases. "Hindsight is 20/20", Johnson said.

"The level of effort and scale required to change the outcome of a national election would make it almost impossible to avoid detection", Liles said.

Specifically, Johnson was questioned about whether the DHS helped the DNC after learning about possible Russian hacking.

"The larger question that we need to address is, now that we know what happened, what are we going to do about it.to stop a foreign superpower from interfering in our democracy", Johnson said.

"In 2016 the Russian government, at the direction of Vladimir Putin himself, orchestrated cyberattacks on our nation for the objective of influencing our election". We had a message, and the president won.

But though the government disclosed that 21 states were potentially impacted by the targeting, lawmakers were left frustrated that the public still doesn't have a full picture of what exactly the Russians did during the election and that it's not fully clear what the U.S. will do to protect itself going forward.

In turn, Samuel Liles, acting Director of the Cyber Division of the Department of Homeland Security, said that he expected Russian Federation to "continue to conduct operations of influence" in the United States.

"At no point during my tenure at the DNC did anyone from the Federal Bureau of Investigation or any other government agency contact or communicate with me about Russian intrusion on the DNC network", Schultz said in a statement.

The government concluded by late September that 21 states' election-related systems "were potentially targeted by Russian government cyber actors", Samuel Liles, acting director of Homeland Security's cyberintelligence and analysis division testified.

"I think the primary goal (of the 2016 effort) in my mind was to sow discord, and to try to de-legitimize our free and fair election process", Priestap said. I don't know why we have to continue debating this.

"I think you could argue they've achieved quite a bit because if you look at the amount of time we've spent in this country on what happened and if you look at the political fissures that formed".

"If they have (before), I am not aware of that", he said.

But computer scientist J. Alex Halderman, a professor at the University of MI, talked about ways his team has exposed serious vulnerabilities in voting technology.

"My conclusion from that work is that our highly computerized election infrastructure is vulnerable to sabotage, and even to cyberattacks that could change votes", he warned.

Nevertheless, Russia denied accusations of interference in the elections in the United States. And state officials must apply tougher cybersecurity safeguards to voting equipment and elections management.

But Johnson says secretaries of state and other chief election officials spurned his offer.

Former Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson says it would have been "unforgiveable" not to alert the American public ahead of the 2016 election that the Russians hacked Democratic email systems.

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