Trump calls on Sessions to end Mueller’s Russian Federation probe

Larry Hoffman
August 3, 2018

Carlos Barria/Reuters Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, left, White House national security adviser John Bolton, FBI Director Christopher Wray, National Security Agency Director Paul Nakasone and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen hold a briefing on election security on Thursday.

President Donald Trump on Thursday defended his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin last month and decried the "Russian hoax", speaking at a rally just hours removed from his top national security officials decrying Russian attempts to influence USA elections.

Coats added the United States continues to see "a pervasive messaging campaign by Russian Federation to try to weaken and divide the United States", in regards to the midterm elections.

The threat of foreign influence in USA elections is pervasive and ongoing, top Trump administration officials said Thursday as they described a strategy they have developed to counter it.

U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and FBI Director Christopher Wray participate in a briefing on election security in the White House press briefing room at the White House in Washington, U.S., August 2, 2018.

We know that through the decades Russian Federation "has used propaganda to sow discord in America".

"They wanted to see a boxing match..." They seriously stepped up their game though in 2016, Coats explained. We haven't seen that robust effort from them so far, ' Coats said.

He added that agencies were meeting weekly to focus on election security ahead of the mid-term elections in November when most of the US Congress faces the voters.

Facebook on Tuesday shut down more than two dozen "inauthentic" accounts and pages, some of which were connected to Russian trolls that targeted the 2016 election.

"I know Director Wray wasn't at liberty to speak about the specifics, and I can't get into a lot of them, but I can tell you that a number of them were anti-President Trump, and that certainly isn't helping Republicans", Sanders said. "He's certainly expressing the frustration", he has long felt over "corruption" by former Justice Department officials like former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, she said.

Trump and his administration have been under heavy fire about their work in securing America's next election since the president's meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in Helsinki last month.

Amid the criticism from both sides of the political aisle, Mr Trump's personal attorneys also sought to walk back the comment, insisting the president was not ordering Sessions to do anything.

White House officials have argued for a year that the media spend too much time on their Russian Federation obsession while short-changing such developments as a European Union trade deal and 4.1 percent growth in the GDP. Now states make their own rules.

The NSA director said his agency and US Cyber Command were "prepared to conduct operations against those actors attempting to undermine our nation's midterm elections".

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