The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) denies the validity of an NBC News report claiming Russia got into voter sites and registration systems in seven different U.S. states just before the 2016 presidential election.
“NBC’s reporting tonight on the 2016 elections is not accurate and is actively undermining efforts of the Department of Homeland Security to work in close partnership with state and local governments to protect the nation’s election systems from foreign actors,” said DHS acting press secretary Tyler Houlton.
His remarks come following U.S. intelligence officials telling NBC News that an report requested by President Barack Obama in the final weeks of his presidency showed that Russian agents penetrated the websites and/or databases of Alaska, Arizona, California, Illinois, Florida, Texas and Wisconsin.
The officials claimed that several states were actually warned about the hacking before the 2016 presidential election, but they were not told that Moscow was responsible for it.
But DHS fought back, saying: “We have no intelligence – new or old – that corroborates NBC’s reporting that state systems in seven states were compromised by Russian government actors. We believe tonight’s story to be factually inaccurate and misleading.”
This report comes while U.S. officials are warning that Russia will probably attempt to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections.
In September 2017, DHS told all 50 states whether they’d been targeted by Russia or not before the 2016 election. 21 states were targeted, the majority of them unsuccessfully, reported the agency.
According to a poll released on Monday, three-fourths of Americans think that Russia will work to rig future American elections and 60% said that “Traitor Trump” isn’t doing nearly enough to address this threat, probably because Russian interference worked out so well for him in 2016