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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A senior Democratic lawmaker said Sunday he had “no doubt” that Russia was behind recent hacking attempts targeting state election systems, and urged the Obama administration to publicly blame Moscow for trying to undermine confidence in the Nov. 8 presidential contest.

The remarks from Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the top Democrat on the intelligence committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, come amid heightened concerns among U.S. and state officials about the security of voting machines and databases, and unsubstantiated allegations from Republican candidate Donald Trump that the election could be “rigged.”

“I have no doubt [this is Russia]. And I don’t think the administration has any doubt,” Schiff said during an appearance on ABC’s This Week.

Schiff’s call to name and shame the Kremlin came a week after Trump questioned widely held conclusions made privately by the U.S. intelligence community that Russia is responsible for the hacking activity.

“It could be Russia, but it could also be China,” Trump said during a televised debate with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. “It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds.”

On Saturday, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said hackers have probed the voting systems of many U.S. states but there is no sign that they have manipulated any voting data.

Schiff said he doubted hackers could falsify vote tallies in a way to affect the election outcome. Officials and experts have said the decentralized and outdated nature of U.S. voting technology makes such hacks more unlikely.

But cyber attacks on voter registration systems could “sow discord” on election day, Schiff said. He further added that leaks of doctored emails would be difficult to disprove and could “be election altering.”

The National Security Agency, FBI and DHS all concluded weeks ago that Russian intelligence agencies conducted, directed or coordinated all the major cyberattacks on U.S. political organizations, including the Democratic National Committee, and individuals, a U.S. official who is participating in the investigations said on Sunday.

However, the official said, White House officials have resisted naming the Russians publicly because doing so could result in escalating cyberattacks, and because it is considered impossible to offer public, unclassified proof of the allegation.

Schiff and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the top Democrat on the U.S. Senate intelligence committee, said last month they had concluded Russian intelligence agencies were “making a serious and concerted effort to influence the U.S. election.”

(Reporting by Dustin Volz and John Walcott; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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7 responses to “Senior Democrat: ‘No Doubt’ Russia Behind Hacks On U.S. Election Systems”

  1. Dominick Vila says:

    The most disturbing part of these attacks is not so much who did it, but the fact that criminal minds are determined to influence the outcome of an upcoming presidential election in the USA, and one of the two candidates is cheering them on. Add to that the known Russian connections of Donald Trump, the mutual admiration that he and Vladimir Putin have expressed publicly, and it is not too difficult to understand why so many of us are concerned about how this would impact our form of government, way of life, and our national security, if Trump is elected President.
    I don’t support confrontational relationships with other countries, and I prefer diplomatic solutions to warfare, but having such a cozy relationship with our greatest foe is disconcerting and worrisome.

  2. Jon says:

    You have to appreciate a man who calls on Russia to hack emails in the U.S. but every time anyone suggests that Russia is or may be hacking U.S. emails he rushes to their defense saying there is no proof of that. If anyone questioned his loyalty to Russia and betrayal of America, his behavior and statements provide the answers.

  3. mary.rudder.93 says:

    I usually gain something like 6,000-8,000 bucks /a month for freelancing at home. If you are considering to work simple freelance tasks for 2h-5h /a day from your house and make solid checks while doing it… Then this work opportunity is for you…

  4. *A Girl Can Dream* says:

    So the whitehouse says it’s dangerous to name Russia as responsible when there is no proof, but hillary goes on national TV touting it as proven. She accused russia by name and said she will act as president with military involvement? Sounds very irresponsible…

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