The Latest: Cyberattacks to get worse, ex-Homeland boss says
Jun. 21, 2017
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the investigation into Russia's actions in the U.S. election and possible ties to Trump campaign associates (all times EDT):
The former secretary of the Homeland Security department says cyberattacks are going to get worse before they get better — and at this time, those on offense have the upper hand.
That's from the prepared testimony of Jeh (jay) Johnson, who served for President Barack Obama. Johnson is slated to testify before the House Intelligence committee on Wednesday. That panel, which is investigating Russian meddling in the presidential election, released his testimony on Tuesday night.
Johnson describes his discussions with state election officials about ensuring the integrity of the voting process.
Johnson says 33 states and 36 cities and counties used his department's tools to scan for potential vulnerabilities. He says the Russian government "did not through any cyber intrusion alter ballots, ballot counts or reporting of election results."
Leaders of the House Intelligence committee say they met with Special Counsel Robert Mueller to ensure their concurrent investigations don't interfere with one another.
Reps. Mike Conaway, a Texas Republican, and Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, issued a brief statement after they met with Mueller late Tuesday. The statement says the meeting was productive but provides no details about their discussion. Both lawmakers had declined to answer questions from reporters about the meeting on Capitol Hill.
Mueller is investigating Russian meddling in the election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.
The House panel is conducting a separate inquiry into Moscow's interference in the 2016 election.
U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a hacking and disinformation campaign aimed at helping Trump's candidacy.
A Washington lawyer has confirmed that he's representing Attorney General Jeff Sessions but is not offering any more specifics.
A statement provided by the office of Chuck Cooper on Tuesday acknowledges that Cooper is representing Sessions. But the statement says Cooper won't comment on any confidential client matters.
The two men have had a longstanding relationship and Cooper advised Sessions ahead of his January confirmation hearing.
Sessions has faced scrutiny over two contacts he had with the Russian ambassador during the presidential campaign. During a Senate hearing last week, he angrily denied suggestions that he could have had a third, unreported encounter with the ambassador.
Sessions has also faced questions about his role in the firing of FBI Director James Comey last month.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer says he has yet to discuss with the president whether he believes the Russia government interfered in the 2016 election, as intelligence agencies have concluded.
Spicer told reporters during a briefing Tuesday, "I have not sat down and talked to him about that specific thing."
America's top intelligence officials have concluded that Russia undoubtedly interfered in America's 2016 presidential campaign.
That includes former FBI director James Comey. He recently testified in a congressional hearing that there is no doubt that the Russians meddled "with "purpose," ''sophistication" and technology.
Comey called it a "high-confidence judgment of the entire intelligence community."
Trump has dismissed investigations into the meddling and potential collusion with his campaign associates as a "witch hunt."
The White House says President Donald Trump is expected to make an announcement this week on whether any recordings exist of his private conversations with former FBI Director James Comey.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer says he expects an announcement "this week" on the possibility of tapes. Trump fired Comey in May and has suggested — but refused to confirm — that he may have tapes of his discussions with Comey. The FBI was investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible contacts with Trump campaign associates.
The House Intelligence Committee has asked White House counsel Don McGahn to provide an answer to the ongoing question about tapes by Friday.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is scheduled to meet with top members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
A Judiciary Committee spokesman made the announcement on Tuesday. Mueller is investigating Russian meddling in the election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.
Mueller will talk with the chairman of the committee, GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and the top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of California. He'll also meet with GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.
The part of the reason for the meeting is to ensure there is no conflict between Mueller's probe and the work of the congressional committees.