Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Trump Undermines Defense, US Under Russian Attack 'With Hands Tied'

Trump Undermines Defense, US Under Russian Attack 'With Hands Tied' Trump Undermines Defense, US Under Russian Attack 'With Hands Tied'
Faye Gross | 14 February, 2018, 18:11

The assessment comes amid biting politics surrounding ongoing federal investigations into what intelligence officials say was an expansive Russian meddling operation created to disrupt the 2016 US presidential election.

Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday.

US spy agencies said past year they had determined Russian Federation used hacking and propaganda in an effort to tilt the 2016 presidential election in favor of the Republican candidate, Donald Trump.

"At a minimum, we expect Russian Federation to continue using propaganda, social media, false-flag personas, sympathetic spokespeople, and other means of influence to try to exacerbate social and political fissures in the United States", said Dan Coats, director of National Intelligence.

Despite hopes that the presence of a North Korean delegation at the Olympics in Seoul - led by Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo Jong - might yield diplomatic progress, U.S. intelligence officials said Pyongyang's strategic intentions have not changed based on their assessments.

Russian government cyber-intruders got into a number of state systems in 2016 and although no votes were changed nor major major damage done, officials say, that cyber-threat remains potent across the country. Angus King (I-ME) scolded the president - and his appointees - for not responding to Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, saying that without a clear doctrine of deterrence there was no reason for the Kremlin not to continue to interfere in American politics without fear of effect.

Coats also touched on other national security concerns, including border security, which he says is "in need of drastic improvement" with drugs and gang members flowing into the USA on a daily basis.

Testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Coats pointed to the North Korean regime developing nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles, building up its conventional weapons, and threatening US allies as evidence that Pyongyang is growing more unsafe.

"No single agency is, quote, in charge", he said.

SpaceX launches world's most powerful rocket
Instead of a gentle glide, it slammed into the ocean at around 300 miles per hour , just over 300 feet from the floating platform. The Falcon Heavy core booster for instance missed its sea-based target and pretty much wrecked it in the process.


Trump has repeatedly characterized the expanding investigation into the Kremlin's election interference as "fake news" cooked by the resentful Democrats.

"Your statement that we have done nothing does not reflect the responses that, frankly, some of us at this table have engaged in - that the USA government has engaged in - both during and before this administration", Pompeo said. They said there were concerns the Chinese companies would use their access to spy on USA officials, and U.S. intelligence chiefs appeared to agree on Tuesday.

Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, similarly said Trump has not urged him to address Russian meddling. "This is pervasive. The Russians have a strategy that goes well beyond what's happening here in the United States".

The Syrian opposition probably has enough resources to sustain the conflict for at least a year but is "probably no longer capable of overthrowing" President Bashar al-Assad, or "overcoming a growing military disadvantage".

"The American people are smart people", he said.

U.S. intelligence agencies sharply disagree, and their darker view of Russia's actions was clear on Tuesday. The FBI director said he refuses to discuss investigations into the Trump campaign's suspected collusion with Russian Federation with Trump.

The Intelligence Committee chairman, Richard Burr (R-N.C.), said as the hearing ended that he hopes to conclude parts of his panel's probe fairly soon.

Senators say they want to lay a foundation publicly for more work by Congress and in the states because the problem is here to stay.

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