The nation’s top spies said Russia will attempt to undermine the 2018 midterm elections

The nation’s top intelligence chiefs testified Feb 13 that they fully expect Russia to seek to disrupt the 2018 midterm elections. Appearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats said that Russia will continue using propaganda, false personas and social media to undermine the upcoming elections. “There should be no doubt that Russia perceives its past efforts” to disrupt the 2016 presidential campaign “as a success,” and it “views the 2018 midterm elections” as another opportunity to conduct an attack, said Director Coats, testifying at the committee’s annual worldwide threats hearing. His assessment was echoed by all five other intelligence agency heads present at the hearing, including CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who two weeks ago stated publicly he had “every expectation” that Russia will try to influence the coming elections.

Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) faulted the Trump administration for not preparing for potential Russian interference in the 2018 elections.  “Make no mistake: This threat did not begin in 2016, and it certainly didn’t end with the election,” said Vice Chairman Warner. “What we are seeing is a continuous assault by Russia to target and undermine our democratic institutions, and they are going to keep coming at us. Despite all of this, the president inconceivably continues to deny the threat posed by Russia. He didn’t increase sanctions on Russia when he had a chance to do so. He hasn’t even tweeted a single concern. This threat demands a whole-of-government response, and that needs to start with leadership at the top.” 

The nation’s top spies said Russia will attempt to undermine the 2018 midterm elections Worldwide Threats Hearing (hearing page) Intel Directors: Cooperation on Cyber Defense Is Key (B&C) FBI Director Christopher Wray’s implicit dig at President Trump (WaPo Analysis) Trump intel chief: 'No doubt' Russia sees 2018 midterms as potential target (The Hill)