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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 Wilt

Evan is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Washington, D.C.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Tue, 02/13/2018 03:16 pm

    To be sure I’m understanding correctly what Coats, Wray, and Pompeo think the Russians are doing/will do: 

    These intelligence chiefs say the Russians intend “to undermine American values and sow discord in democracy?”  By means of “propaganda, social media, and sympathizers within the United States?”  

    That might mean, in part, they expect the Russians to get us to believe, no matter who might win an election, it was rigged, unfair, the results unacceptable?  Seems to me we have already seen many in the US who are the Russians’ willing accomplices in this. 

    But overall, it seems to me, the aim to is to spread among Americans such beliefs as: we are evil, corrupt, rotten, cruel, racist; that our Nation oppresses other nations, our rich become richer at the expense of our poor, Whites cruelly deny Minorities their freedom, Christians persecute GLTBetc, our government represses and spies on us. And so forth. 

    I see more folks accepting these falsehoods than ever before. I don’t think the dissemination of this anti-American garbage can be laid solely at the feet of Russia. 

  • John Kloosterman
    Posted: Tue, 02/13/2018 07:22 pm

    It's often been pointed out that the situation is basically a win-win for Russia.  If they're successful and the candidate they want gets elected, good, they have someone who is sympathetic or gullible enough to work with.  If they're unsuccessful and the candidate doesn't get elected, people will still be filled with doubt and unease, pointing fingers at each other as the Russian collaborators, weakening American influence. They help themselves every way.

  • esperanto
    Posted: Wed, 02/14/2018 06:05 am

    Did Mr.Coats present any evidence with his assessment?

  • One of Many
    Posted: Wed, 02/14/2018 06:51 am

    Call me simplistic, but until Russia or anyone else actually hacks into the election technology itself, then the only people who can be accused of anything are Americans who are driven by every wind of thought and emotion.  Have not Russians been trying to influence and subvert for decades now?  The only difference is the speed at which it can be done, and a failed US education and society that results in collective group think rather than sound judgment.

  • Joseph Horton
    Posted: Wed, 02/14/2018 01:35 pm

    Echoing the others' comments: has anyone actually heard or read any specific allegation about how Russians are alleged to have interfered with the election?  It seems that what's alleged is that information  has been mined from the DNC servers and that somehow that info was used.  And that somehow that affected the outcome.

    What I have yet to hear are: 1) Is that the specific allegation?  2) If so, regardless of provenance, is any of the released information said to be incorrect?  3) Why isn't this the logical/mathematical equivalent of opposition research?  And 4) Is this supposed to be different somehow from the US--and any other advanced country--trying to get the person we see as most favorable to US interests elected in another country?


    Any help here would be greatly appreciated.