Intelligence Chief: Yes, Russia Is Going After the Midterms

Dan Coats, other officials tell Senate panel the threat is very real
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2018 3:03 PM CST
Intel Chief Sees Midterms as Big Target for Russians
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats speaks at a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

This time, nobody can say they weren't warned. The director of national intelligence went to Capitol Hill on Tuesday and made clear that he thinks Russia has big plans to meddle in the 2018 midterms, reports the Wall Street Journal. “We expect Russia to continue using propaganda, social media, false-flag personas, sympathetic spokespeople, and other means of influence to try to exacerbate social and political fissures in the United States,” Dan Coats told the Senate Intelligence Committee, per the New York Times. CIA chief Mike Pompeo echoed the threat, saying the agency has already seen evidence of "Russian activities and intentions to have an impact on the next election cycle."

Pompeo added, without elaborating, that “we do have some capabilities offensively to raise the cost for those who would dare challenge the United States elections." Though his boss, President Trump, has belittled the idea of Russian interference in the 2016 election, Coats said it was clear that "Russia perceives its past efforts as successful" and that it sees the midterms as a juicy new target. “Throughout the entire community we have not seen any evidence of any significant change from last year,” he added. (Russia and the US are having a strange spat in the form of dueling street names.)

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