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Trump tells attorney general to end Russian Federation probe

03 August 2018

"We continue to see a pervasive messaging campaign by Russian Federation to try to weaken and divide the United States", Coats and other USA intelligence officials told reporters at the White House briefing.

Only weeks ago in Helsinki, Finland, Trump did not confront Russian President Vladimir Putin about election interference and said Putin gave strong denials of interference, which he believed.

Stewart on Thursday said election interference led to improving firewalls around election systems. "This includes measures to heighten the security and resilience of election systems and processes, to confront Russian and other foreign malign influence in the United States, to confront such aggression through global action, and to reinforce a strong sanctions regime".

'We continue to see a pervasive messaging campaign by Russian Federation to try to weaken and divide the United States, ' he noted.

"We know there are others who have the capability and may be considering influence activities", he said.

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Coats also said the Russian interference, thus far, in 2018 is not up to the level of their work in the presidential contest, where they are accused of aiding Trump win the White House by running an influence campaign in his favor, mainly through social media channels.

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"Our focus here today is simply to tell the American people we acknowledge the threat, it is real, it is continuing, and we're doing everything we can to have a legitimate election", Mr Coats said.

Ms Nielsen said: "Our democracy itself is in the crosshairs".

"Whatever happens, we want to assure Americans their vote was counted and counted correctly", Nielsen said.

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"We have an opportunity to use our voice in a very different way than those in Ukraine", Parkhomenko said.

Manafort served as Trump's campaign chief from May to August 2016 and the president asked Wednesday: "why didn't government tell me that he was under investigation".

Stewart said he expects more Russian attempts to interfere with USA elections, saying that weakening trust in the United States here and overseas is part of Putin's strategy to expand Russian influence.

Karl also pointed to President Trump's claims that the Russians would attempt to boost Democrats in the midterms and questioned if there "has been any evidence whatsoever that".

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Stewart has stuck with that view - that the Russian attacks weren't aimed at helping one candidate - despite the USA intelligence agencies all concluding that the aim was boosting Trump's candidacy.

Trump tells attorney general to end Russian Federation probe