Politics

DNI: 2018 Russian Efforts Not At 2016 Level, Not Aimed At One Particular Party

Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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  • Russian efforts to influence the 2018 midterm elections are not at the levels seen during the 2016 election, according to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
  • Russia has tried to disrupt U.S. elections “through decades,” but it stepped up its effort in 2016, Coats said.
  • Russian efforts in 2018 have not tried to benefit one particular party, he said.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats revealed that Russian efforts to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections is not yet at the levels of 2016 election and that they are not trying to help any particular party, in a press briefing Thursday.

“Relative to what we have seen for the midterm elections, it is not the type of robust campaign that we assessed in the 2016 election. We know that through decades Russia has tried to use its propaganda and methods to sew discord in America,” Coats admitted. “They stepped up their game big time in 2016. We have not seen that kind of robust effort from them so far.”

Coats warned, however, “as I mentioned publicly, just a few weeks ago, we’re only one keyboard click away from finding out something that we don’t — haven’t seen up to this particular point in time. But right now, we have not seen that.”

The DNI continued that Russian efforts are not directed to one particular party.

“What we see are the Russians are looking for every opportunity, regardless of party, regardless of whether or not it applies to the election, to continue their pervasive efforts to undermine our fundamental values.”