DHS secretary says she’s unaware Russia wanted Trump to win

Midterms are in Putin's crosshairs, ex-spy chief says

Nielsen responded saying: "I do not believe that I've seen that conclusion".

"I do not believe that I've seen that conclusion", Nielsen told reporters.

"That the specific intent was to help President Trump win, I am not aware of that - but I generally have no reason to doubt any intelligence assessment".

U.S. Senate investigators have concluded that President Barack Obama's administration was too slow to investigate suspected Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, two sources familiar with their inquiries said.

In a subsequent answer, Nielsen said she believed that Russian Federation did and will continue to try to "manipulate Americans' perspective on a whole variety of issues".

Several top members of the party said they are unsure whether Nielsen was being serious or simply playing politics when she said she was unaware of the intelligence community's conclusions.

"With primaries already underway across the United States, and the general election less than six months away, it is critical-now more than ever-to safeguard and secure our election infrastructure", the Trump administration statement said.

Intelligence agencies say Russian operatives attempted to hack 21 electoral systems in states during the 2016 campaign, breaching one system. "I think what they are trying to do is to disrupt our belief and our own understanding of what's happening". Nielsen joined FBI Director Christopher Wray and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats in the closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill.

In the 2017 assessment, the FBI, CIA and NSA all agreed that Russian Federation interfered with a preference for Trump.

Ms. Nielsen's response seemed to suggest she is unfamiliar with the findings reached by the USA intelligence community and published in a January 2017 report, "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections", which accused Mr. Putin of trying to help the 2016 Trump campaign. They surmised she might have been trying to avoid upsetting Trump, who - along with House Republicans - has sought to discredit the idea that Russian Federation favored his candidacy over that of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. She also very clearly articulated today that the Russian government unequivocally worked to undermine our democracy during the 2016 election. All three agencies agree with this judgment.

"The intelligence assessment language is nuanced for a reason".

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declined to answer questions about whether he agreed with the 2017 intelligence community assessment.

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