ibusinesslines.com September 22, 2018

Trump Isn't Sure If Russian Hacking Happened, But Is Still Blaming Obama

26 June 2017, 02:30 | Laverne Osborne

Trump Isn't Sure If Russian Hacking Happened, But Is Still Blaming Obama

A New York City election worker tests a ballot scanner ahead of the November 2016 election. Two congressional panels are looking into the extent of Russian attempts to hack parts of the election system

Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday said President Donald Trump thinks "it probably was Russia" that hacked the Democratic National Committee's systems.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson appears before the House Intelligence Committee task force on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Wednesday as part of the Russian Federation investigation.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testifies before the House Intelligence Committee in an open hearing in the US Capitol Visitors Center June 21, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Spicer was asked whether Trump stands by the US intelligence community's conclusion that Russian Federation tampered with the 2016 election and said only that he hadn't "sat down and asked [Trump] about his specific reaction". "Why didn't they stop them?" the president tweeted, shortly following with "...

U.S. Department of Homeland Security emblem is pictured at the National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) located just outside Washington in Arlington, Virginia September 24, 2010.

"It's all a big Dem HOAX!" the president tweeted.

Johnson also made it plain that Democrats didn't take the problem too seriously: "The FBI and the DNC had been in contact with each other months before about the intrusion, and the DNC did not feel it needed DHS's assistance at that time". He appeared to theorize that Democrats concocted the story as an "excuse" for Hillary Clinton losing the 2016 presidential election.

Trump's frustration on the Russian Federation issue has mounted - and occasionally boiled over on Twitter - as multiple parallel investigations continue both inside and outside of Congress.

It's been said many times, but witnesses reiterated they have no doubt that Russian Federation itself was behind efforts to intervene in the U.S. election and were also very confident that no votes were changed in the process. The testimony came a day after White House press secretary Sean Spicer said at a briefing he did not know whether President Donald Trump believes Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

"I was anxious to know whether our folks were in there", he said.

On Twitter, Trump challenged the Obama administration for failing to stop the Russians.

Johnson said he was not aware of any information beyond what's been reported publicly and what the USA intelligence community has gathered.

When asked what took the Obama administration so long to disclose the allegations of Russian interference, Johnson cited the need to protect intelligence sources and methods. "And so we were concerned that, by making the statement, we might in and of itself be challenging the integrity of the - of the election process itself", Johnson said.

But Mr Johnson did not say that in evidence on Wednesday before the House intelligence committee.

"Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to "leak" into the public". (DHS officials testifying before the Senate earlier this week said election systems in as many as 21 states may have been targeted last fall.) No evidence has been discovered indicating that the Trump campaign had access to any of the stolen data, Time notes.

US elections are highly decentralized.

DETROW: Johnson says administration officials were anxious about tipping their hands on intelligence methods or looking like they were picking sides in the election.

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