No Doubt Russia Tried to Interfere — Homeland's Nielsen


"I don't think there's any question in the intel community or at DHS that Russians attempted to infiltrate and interfere with our electoral system", she said.

President Donald Trump's Department of Homeland Security secretary failed to go against her boss' comments defending the "fine people" who were part of the Charlottesville "Unite the Right" rally. "They were striking to me and I think striking to a lot of people in the room".

Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum, Nielsen created some confusion when she seemed to deny that the Russian attacks on USA elections were designed to help Trump.

At first, Nielsen distinguished between efforts targeted at election infrastructure in the USA and other attempts to meddle.

"Russia was absolutely attempting to interfere in our election systems", Nielsen told moderator Peter Alexander of NBC News during an interview at the Aspen Security Forum.

Nielsen said the practice was aimed at deterring child trafficking, and that Congress needed to change immigration laws so that children and parents could be detained together.

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Following the violent rally a year ago, Trump made statements explaining that there "were fine people on both sides", at the "Unite the Right" white nationalist rally.

When asked what she thought about separating families - and whether it was a good idea - she said: "I say all the time the system is broken". "The intelligence community did have that finding, right?"

Nielsen then said the effort to attack was directed against certain parties more than others. President Trump's decision to invite Russia's foreign minister and ambassador to the US into the Oval Office during the Russian delegation's May 2017 visit to the White House. With regard to Trump's almost two hour, one-on-one meeting with Putin, Coats said he did not know what was discussed and took issue with Trump's decision to meet alone with the Russian leader. "What we've seen on the foreign influence side" is Russian attempts to "cause chaos on both sides".

Also on July 19, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell said he asked two Senate committees to hold hearings on possible additional sanctions against Russian Federation over its alleged election interference.

While DHS "right now" has not seen "the targeting of the state and local systems that we saw in 2016", Russian Federation is still engaged in trying to influence Americans and sow discord through social media and other means, Assistant Secretary Jeanette Manfra said Thursday.