The four joining Coats for Thursday's briefing were National Security Adviser John Bolton, FBI Director Christopher Wray, NSA Director General Paul Nakasone, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
There have always been allegations that the Russian government intervened in the 2016 US Presidential Election to help Trump. "This includes measures to heighten the security and resilience of election systems and processes, to confront Russian and other foreign malign influence in the United States, to confront such aggression through global action, and to reinforce a strong sanctions regime".
"We continue to see a pervasive campaign by Russian Federation to try to weaken and divide the United States".
"We know there are others who have the capability and may be considering influence activities", he said.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said he's "not in a position to either understand fully or talk about what happened at Helsinki" between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin as he warned about malign activities from the Kremlin meant to influence the November vote.
'Our focus here today is simply to tell the American people we acknowledge the threat.
"Our top intelligence officials have repeatedly warned that #Putin continues to target our elections & sow chaos", he tweeted. "Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of our democracy".
It's not the first time Trump attempts to persuade American voters that Russian Federation perceives him not as its asset in the White House, as claimed by the Russiagaters, but rather as a threat.
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Gingrich said Trump should "endure" the investigation instead of firing Sessions, but that Sessions has the "absolute authority" to fire Mueller's team. "I said whatever happened to diplomacy?" he said.
Trump later walked back those statements amid widespread criticism, saying he accepted the "conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place", adding a caveat that it "could be other people also". Indeed, Trump claimed Thursday night that he got along great with Putin - making the assertion that Russian Federation isn't happy with his election even more freaky and unnecessary.
While Trump has claimed that Russia wants to help Democrats in the midterms, Coats said that "the Russians are looking for every opportunity regardless of party". In addition, they have encountered cyber attacks against voting infrastructure and computer intrusions targeting elected officials.
No. 3 Senate GOP leader John Thune of South Dakota said, "The idea that they should truncate it doesn't make sense to me".
FILE In this file photo taken on Monday, July 16, 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hand with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the end of the press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland.
But Trump's top spokeswoman rejected the idea that the president directed his attorney general to do anything - if he even could as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is overseeing Mueller's work since Sessions recused himself due to contacts with a senior Russian diplomat he had as a GOP Alabama senator who was advising the Trump campaign.
Apparently we're in the same boat as the head of USA intelligence.