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Trump disputes Russian interference in 2016 election

Trump disputes Russian interference in 2016 election

JOHNSON: No, not as I sit here.

Johnson said he was "not in a position to agree or disagree with that" because he didn't "have access anymore to intelligence over the last five months". Johnson says he not aware of any information beyond what's been reported publicly and what the USA intelligence community has gathered.

Johnson said he was disappointed the DNC would not accept Homeland Security's help in finding its cyber-vulnerabilities.

But he says the answer wasn't reassuring.

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".

Homeland Security officials confirmed at the Senate hearing that the Russian hacks breached electoral systems in 21 states - though only IL and Arizona have been made public and the details of the penetrations remain secret.

The Senate committee was hearing from officials at the Homeland Security Department and the FBI's counterintelligence division.

In his testimony, Johnson said the DNC shrugged off the help.

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"I want to assure you and all Americans that election officials across the United States are taking cybersecurity very seriously", said Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, the president-elect of the National Association of Secretaries of State. He said the "scale and aggressiveness" was different this time, with the primary goal being to sow discord and aid the candidacy of Republican Donald Trump, the eventual victor.

"We have evidence that election-related systems in 21 states were targeted", she said, but added that DHS still had confidence in the USA voting systems because they are "fundamentally resilient". State election officials have been at pains to reassure voters that election registration databases are not linked to vote counting, and that US voting machines are not connected to the internet.

The letter comes as Jeanette Manfra, acting deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity and communications at DHS, told the Senate Intelligence Committee hackers targeted election-related systems in 21 states a year ago. He says it's not acceptable for the government to keep the full scope of the attacks secret.

In one case, investigators found there had been a manipulation of voter data in a county database but the alterations were discovered and rectified, two sources familiar with the matter tell TIME.

Dean confirmed Oklahoma election officials met past year with Homeland Security, which offered an array of cybersecurity options. "And not beyond anything that I'm sure this committee has already seen and heard before, directly from the intelligence community". "This was a profound misunderstanding of what a critical infrastructure designation would mean, which I tried to clarify for them". "The response I got was, the Federal Bureau of Investigation had spoken to them, they don't want our help, they have CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm".

"There have been reports that their ability to target this information, some reports at least saying that in the last week of the campaign in certain precincts in Wisconsin and MI and Pennsylvania there was so much misinformation coming talking about Hillary Clinton's illnesses or Hillary Clinton stealing money from the State Department or other". They considered running elections "a sovereign and exclusive responsibility of the states" and viewed his proposal as a federal takeover.

The president's claims also come as scrutiny surrounding possible coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin intensifies.

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