The top U.S. intelligence official insisted on Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s administration is “actively engaged” in countering Russian efforts to influence the November elections, even as he warned of Moscow’s continuing “malign activities.” “The White House is actively engaged,” Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told a Senate hearing, where lawmakers pressed for answers on election security. “This is a high priority for them,” he said. Coats and other intelligence officials have warned repeatedly that Russia is already trying to interfere in the 2018 mid-term elections by using social media to spread propaganda and misleading reports, much as it did during the 2016 presidential race.
“We have not seen evidence of a robust effort yet on the part of Russia, but we know their malign activities continue to exist,” Coats told a Senate Armed Services hearing on “Worldwide Threats.”
“It’s highly likely that they will be doing something. We just don’t know how much and when and where,” Coats said.
U.S. intelligence determined that Russia sought to influence the 2016 presidential election to boost Trump, the Republican candidate. The finding has shadowed his 14 months in the White House amid multiple congressional investigations and a probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.