BREAKING NEWS Police investigating a suspicious death of man found with apparent gunshot wound Full Story
BREAKING NEWS Fauci: 1st US case of COVID-19 omicron variant identified Full Story

DHS secretary dodges saying Russian interference was to help Trump

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Thursday declined to say she agrees that Russian election interference was designed...

Posted: Jul 20, 2018 1:24 AM
Updated: Jul 20, 2018 1:24 AM

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Thursday declined to say she agrees that Russian election interference was designed to help President Donald Trump, though she said she accepts the US intelligence community's assessment that concluded just that.

Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum, Nielsen created some confusion when she seemed to deny that the Russian attacks on US elections were designed to help Trump. She was responding to a question from NBC's Peter Alexander about her May comments to CNN's Manu Raju that she had not seen that conclusion.

"I haven't seen any evidence that the attempts to interfere in our election infrastructure was to favor a particular political party," Nielsen said Thursday. "I think what we've seen on the foreign influence side is they were attempting to intervene and cause chaos on both sides. ... I think the overall purpose is to sow discord and get us all to fight against each other rather than understand who the enemy is."

Pressed by Alexander that the intelligence community concluded it was to help Trump, Nielsen said "certain political parties ...more than others" were attacked and that DHS was focused on preparing for the future.

After her comments in May, DHS later clarified that Nielsen agrees with the US intelligence assessment. That joint statement from the full US intelligence community in 2017 concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign during the 2016 US presidential election with goals that included harming Hillary Clinton's candidacy. The Russian government "developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump" and tried to help his election chances, the assessment stated.

But later in Thursday's interview, Nielsen reiterated she agrees with the intelligence assessment.

"I do not disagree. I agree completely, I've said that many times, with the intel assessment," Nielsen said. "What I'm trying to focus my comments on is the fact that they have the capability and the will. And what the role of DHS is, is to prepare for them to continue to try to use both foreign influence and direct attacks on infrastructure to effect the results of our election."

CNN's Jim Sciutto followed up by asking Nielsen to clarify where she stood, and whether she would state unequivocally that Russia's "intention was to help Donald Trump and disadvantage Hillary Clinton."

"I agree with the intel community's assessment, full stop," Nielsen replied. "The intel community is made up of professionals who do this for a living, who are dedicated public servants. I absolutely believe their assessment."

Chico
Partly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 68°
Oroville
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 68°
Paradise
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 68°
Chester
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 78°
Red Bluff
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 79°
Willows
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 68°
Gusty northeast winds and the potential for morning fog are ahead for the start of your Wednesday. We'll end up sunny and very warm Wednesday afternoon. Dry and warm weather will persist into this weekend, but we finally have a cooling trend and the potential for wet weather returning in your extended forecast.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events