Intelligence chief: Russia will target 2018 elections
by Evan Wilt
Posted 2/13/18, 11:15 am
WASHINGTON—Russia poses a significant threat during this year’s midterm elections, according to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. During an annual hearing with the Senate Intelligence Committee to address worldwide threats, Coats said Russia aggressively targeted the 2016 presidential election and predicted it will do the same in 2018. “There should be no doubt that Russia perceives its past operations as successful and views the 2018 U.S. midterm elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations,” he said. In a lengthy opening statement, Coats claimed the United States is under siege from cyberthreats every day, with Russia a leading instigator. He said Russia wants to interfere in the U.S. election process to undermine American values and sow discord in democracy. The intelligence community expects Russia to use propaganda, social media, and sympathizers within the United States to influence upcoming elections, Coats added. The Senate Intelligence Committee is one of three congressional panels reviewing Russia’s role in the 2016 election and possible connections to the Trump campaign. Coats, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and CIA Director Mike Pompeo all reiterated Tuesday that they believe Russia actively worked to undermine the legitimacy of the 2016 election.
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Evan is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Washington, D.C.