Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats explained to White House reporters at Thursday’s briefing that Russia intent, not just in meddling in the 2016 election, but also beyond elections, is to drive a wedge between our allies and undermine democratic values.
Coats clarified the position of the President, Vice President, himself, and the other four Trump intelligence and national security officials behind the podium with him: that the “ICA was a correct assessment of what happened in 2016.”
The four joining Coats for Thursday’s briefing were National Security Adviser John Bolton, FBI Director Christopher Wray, NSA Director General Paul Nakasone, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
— Michelle Moons (@MichelleDiana) August 2, 2018
The Director said they “subsequently made the determination to make this a top priority, that it doesn’t happen again. And we’re throwing everything at it.”
Coats said that Russia’s intent goes beyond elections; their intent is “to undermine our democratic values, drive a wedge between our allies, and do a number of other nefarious things.” He assured, “We are looking at that also.”
He not only confirmed that Russia continues in attempts to meddle in U.S. elections, but also that this includes Russian individuals, the Kremlin, “and even add to that.”
Director Coats said Russia has employed several means to exert influence in the U.S.: media, social media, bots, “actors that they hire through proxies,” “and potentially more.” He couldn’t go further regarding classified information. “But it is pervasive. It is ongoing with the intent to achieve their intent, and that is drive a wedge and undermine our democratic values.”