U.S. National Intelligence: Putin to use more aggressive cyber attacks to control 2018 Midterms

Intelligence Studies / Flickr Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats...
Intelligence Studies / Flickr

During a meeting co-hosted by the Atlantic Council in Normandy, France on June 8, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats issued a warning stating that the Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin intends to more aggressively interfere with the upcoming United States midterm elections. Coat’s warning comes within days of Trump’s efforts to get Russia into the G-7, to no avail, while at the same time calling himself Russia’s biggest nightmare. The relationship between Trump, Putin and our national elections are dangerously clear. In a video, Coats states:

“The United States is under attack—under attack by entities using cyber to penetrate virtually every major action that takes place in the United States.

From U.S. businesses to the federal government, local governments—the United States is threatened by cyber attacks every day. While Russia, China, Iran and North Korea pose the greatest cyber threats, other terrorist organizations, transnational criminal organizations and ever more technically capable groups and individuals use cyber operations to achieve strategic and malign objectives.

Some of these actors, including Russia, are likely to pursue even more aggressive cyber attacks with the intent of degrading our democratic values and weakening our alliances. Persistent and disruptive cyber operatives will continue against the United States and our European allies—using our elections to undermine democracy and sow discord and division.”

Coats reminded the council that although Putin says he wants a united and prosperous Europe, “invading Ukraine, seizing Crimea, attacking individuals in the U.K. with nerve agents, conducting cyber-attacks against multiple EU countries… do not strike me as unifying actions.”

Director Coats has been issuing similar warnings all year. In this short video from February, he states other tools Putin has and will use.

Video transcript excerpts:

“Putin will resort to more authoritarian tactics to remain in control…We expect Russia to continue using propaganda, social media, false flag personas, sympathetic spokesmen and other means to influence and try to build on its own wide range of operations and exacerbate political figures in the United States. There should be no doubt that Russia is perceived as successful, and views the 2018 U.S. Midterm elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations.”

In response to Dan Coats’s warnings, the Republican House and Senate leaders and the majority of GOP members in Congress have done virtually nothing to stop Putin, only proving their compliance. They don’t care if our elections are compromised as long as they can remain in office. Due to Trump, and the GOP’s support, the Republican Party is extremely unpopular today. They need Putin to win, which in turn will keep Trump in power (to do Putin’s beckoning) and leave Republicans in complete control of the country for two more years—at minimum. Instead of this country having “checks and balances” between three branches of government, we are a nation of donor checks that increase the bank balances of a treasonous Republican Party.

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