The Trump administration’s top security and intelligence leaders used blunt language last week to describe Russia’s ongoing cyber efforts to meddle in U.S. elections and use disinformation to sow confusion among Americans.
Their forceful statements underscored the importance of the threat and their welcome focus on working to defend against it.
“We continue to see a pervasive messaging campaign by Russia to try to weaken and divide the United States,” Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, said during the White House briefing. “We’re throwing everything at it.”
“Our democracy itself is in the crosshairs,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. FBI Director Christopher Wray said: “Just last week … we disseminated a list to our state and local law enforcement partners of various foreign influence indicators for them to be on the lookout for — things like malicious cyber activity, social abnormalities and foreign propaganda activities.”
The national security leaders’ statements, commendably