Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen doesn't believe Russian election interference favored Trump

by Garry Watts July 22, 2018, 1:28
Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen doesn't believe Russian election interference favored Trump

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Trump's administration has sought to control the damage from Monday's summit in Helsinki, where the president astonished the world and drew sharp criticism at home by siding with Putin over US intelligence agencies on Moscow's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

"I haven't seen any evidence that the attempts to interfere in our election infrastructure was to favor a particular party", she said at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.

The Secretary was also was clear, once pressed, that it was Russian Federation in particular involved in the hacking effort, not just foreign countries generally, as has been suggested by both the president himself and pro-Trump media this week.

NBC's Peter Alexander interviewed Nielsen for the Aspen Institute and covered the election interference and Russian Federation heavily.

But what Daily News fails to mention is that the sum of that interference claimed by the intelligence community involved spending some $250,000-$300,000 on ads on Facebook and "propaganda" from Trump operatives appearing on the Russia-sponsored RT news service.

Back in Washington a day later, amid attacks from members of both parties, Trump said he did indeed have faith in the USA intelligence community's conclusions about Russian meddling, although he also said "others" might be involved.

"The proposals presented by Russian Federation are now being worked out by the U.S. side", the ministry said.

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But the early break is likely to spark widespread criticism given that the recess is already scheduled to last for six weeks. Justine Greening told the BBC on Monday that Parliament is "gridlocked" over Brexit.

"They have the capability, they have the will".

"Look, the fact is we got along well", Trump said in the interview, which was taped on Thursday.

But Trump's National Security Council spokesman, Garrett Marquis, said agreements between Russian Federation and the Ukrainian government for resolving the conflict in the Donbas region do not include any such option and any effort to organize a "so-called referendum" will have "no legitimacy". She added that Russia's influence operations were aimed at causing chaos on both sides. Younger children have already been reunited; but less than half were because of issues with the parents, officials said. "We are doing MUCH better than any other country!"

"You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent", Trump told reporters after the 2017 rally that resulted in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, who was protesting against the white nationalist gathering.

She said border security is suffering because families are no longer being criminally prosecuted for illegal entry but she wants to see families kept together. "It is what it is", Coats said in a verbal shrug. On this point she was less clear.

The Trump administration has one more week to reunite almost 2,500 migrant children with their parents in order to comply with a court order.

Nielsen said the trip for children to the US from Central America is so risky and rape is so common that all girls over age 10 are given pregnancy tests upon crossing the border.

Trump left the White House for his New Jersey golf club for the weekend.

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