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US intel officials, without giving proof, contend Russia meddled in election

Thursday, January 5, 2017 12:34
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DEBKAfile was founded by a team of journalists in June 2000 as an independent Internet Web site, providing an intelligence and security news service. January 5, 2017, 9:00 PM (IDT)

Three senior US intelligence officials testified Thursday morning (local time) in Washington at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Russian cyberattacks. All three — James Clapper, the director of national intelligence; Adm. Michael Rogers, head of the National Security Agency; and Marcel J. Lettre, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence — asserted that Moscow was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computer system, but refused to provide evidence and said they were not able to determine whether the hacking influenced the presidential election. They claimed that only officials at the highest level of the Russian government could have ordered the cyberattack and the distribution of fake news on social networks. All of the Democratic members of the Senate committee asked the intelligence officials for their response to President-elect Donald Trump’s disparaging attitude toward US intelligence agencies. Other parts of the hearing were devoted to overall threats in the intelligence and cyber fields. NSA head Rogers said the greatest cyber threat to the US is the possible penetration and altering of military and intelligence databases that could cause the president to make incorrect strategic decisions.          

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