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Top US officials warn of Russia meddling in upcoming US midterm elections

WASHINGTON, Feb 13 (KUNA) -- Top US intelligence chiefs told Senate lawmakers on Tuesday that Russia will continue to intervene in the nation's upcoming elections in 2018.
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Mike Pompeo, Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats, and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray unanimously reaffirmed to the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russia will target the 2018 midterm elections. "We have seen Russian activity and intentions to have an impact on the next election cycle," CIA Director Mike Pompeo told lawmakers during a hearing on worldwide threats.
"We expect Russia to continue using propaganda social media, false flag personas, sympathetic spokesmen and other means to influence to try to build on its wide range of operations and exacerbate social and political fissures in the United States," Coats said. "There should be no doubt that Russia perceives that its past efforts as successful and views the 2018 US midterm elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations." Coats warned that the current risk of a global conflict is higher than at any time since the end of the Cold War.
"The risk of interstate conflict, including among great powers, is higher than at any time since the end of the Cold War," Coats said. Specifically, he noted that "malign actors," including Russia and China will use several tactics, including cyber and information warfare to challenge US influence around the world.
US intelligence officials concluded Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, which Russia denies. (end) hy.sd