WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials sought Wednesday to underscore for lawmakers the threat Russia posed to the 2016 vote for the White House, outlining efforts to hack into election systems in 21 states and to fill the internet with misinformation during a divisive campaign season.
Officials also revealed what appeared to be a breakdown in communications about how severe the threat appeared, and they reported tensions the Obama administration faced in trying to publicly warn of meddling in the face of a skeptical then-candidate Donald Trump.
“One of the candidates, as you’ll recall, was predicting that the election was going to be rigged in some way. And so we were concerned that, by making the statement, we might in and of itself be challenging the integrity of the — of the election process itself,” Jeh Johnson, the former head of the Homeland Security Department, told members of the House intelligence committee.
The testimony …
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