Donald Trump aides say Russia has sweeping effort to weaken US elections

Paul Manafort arrives for a hearing at US District Court on 15 June in Washington DC

"We're here to tell the American people that we acknowledged the threat, it is real, it is continuing and we're doing everything we can to have an election the American people can have trust in", Coats said.

"The threat is multi-disciplinary: targeting USA officials and other U.S. persons through traditional intelligence tradecraft, criminal efforts to suppress voting and provide illegal campaign financing, cyber-attacks against voting infrastructure along with computer intrusions". When asked to explain this, the DNI chief said "I'm not in a position to either understand fully or talk about what happened in Helsinki".

"We continue to see a pervasive messaging campaign from Russian Federation to try to weaken and divide the United States", said Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence.

Mr Coats was asked if he was accusing rogue Russian individuals or the Kremlin itself of intervening in U.S. elections. He gave no details.

They said: "Russians are exhausted of the policy of confrontation with the West, which has been going on for several years and has resulted in the decline of people's incomes".

"Our democracy itself is in the crosshairs", declared Nielsen of the DHS, adding that the department has seen "willingness and capability on part of the Russians" to meddle, but not specifying if any meddling has actually taken place.

In an interview with CNN, Lankford expressed concern that the White House is ignoring national security concerns over the midterms.

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, questioned whether Trump was serious about countering Russian interference.

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Mr Bolton said in his letter published by the White House: "President Trump has not and will not tolerate interference in America's system of representative government".

"This is a threat that we need to take extremely seriously".

"The bottom line for election security is to make sure that we have paper ballots and that we have audits after the election to pick up on whether there were any risks" to election results, Wyden told reporters.

Although CNN has reported that several members of Mueller's team have donated to Democrats, Russia's interference in the 2016 election has also been the subject of several Republican-led congressional inquiries. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to push legislation that would send money to states to ensure their voting systems are secure for the 2018 election.

USA officials say the illegal activity includes criminal efforts to suppress voting and provide illegal campaign financing, cyber attacks against voting infrastructure, along with computer intrusions targeting elected officials and others.

Only weeks ago in Helsinki, Finland, Trump did not confront Russian President Vladimir Putin about election interference and said Putin gave strong denials of interference, which he believed.

Facebook on Tuesday shut down more than two dozen "inauthentic" accounts and pages, some of which were connected to Russian trolls that targeted the 2016 election.

Mueller is investigating whether the Trump campaign aided or abetted an attempt by Russian Federation to sway the 2016 presidential election, or tried to cover up the conspiracy.

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