Nielsen: ‘I Haven’t Seen Evidence’ That Russians Hacked Election To Help Trump (VIDEO)

on July 6, 2018 in Washington, DC.
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 06: U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen speaks during a visit to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency headquarters on July 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. U.S. Vic... WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 06: U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen speaks during a visit to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency headquarters on July 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence received a briefing on "ICE's overall mission on enforcement and removal operations, countering illicit trade, and human smuggling." (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) MORE LESS
|
July 19, 2018 12:42 p.m.

In a remarkable break with U.S. intelligence agencies, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen insisted Thursday that there was no evidence that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. election with the express purpose of helping then-candidate Donald Trump win.

At first, Nielsen distinguished between efforts targeted at election infrastructure in the U.S. and other attempts to meddle.

“I haven’t seen any evidence that the attempts to interfere in our election infrastructure was to favor a particular political party,” she said at the Aspen Institute’s Security Forum in Colorado. “I think what we’ve seen on the foreign influence side is they were attempting to intervene and cause chaos on both sides.”

She also mentioned that Russia continued to sow discord after Trump’s election, citing activity related to the white nationalist rally and attack on counter-protesters in Charlottesville, after which Trump blamed “both sides.”

When pushed about intelligence agencies’ findings—in three separate assessments from the intelligence community, Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the Senate Intelligence Committee—that the Russians definitively did hack the election to help Trump win, Nielsen danced around the issue and would not name Trump himself.

“It was in an effort to attack certain political parties that we know about more than others, so we’ll continue to look and see what that means and be prepared for the next time,” she said.

This is not the first time Nielsen declined to state that Russian’s election meddling was aimed at helping Trump — she made similar comments in May.

Nielsen also refused to name Russian Vladimir Putin as part of the hacking effort, placing the blame broadly with “Russian government actors.”

Watch below:

Introducing
The TPM Journalism Fund: A New Way To Support TPM
We're launching the TPM Journalism Fund as an additional way for readers and members to support TPM. Every dollar contributed goes toward:
  • -Hiring More Journalists
  • -Providing free memberships to those who cannot afford them
  • -Supporting independent, non-corporate journalism
Are you experiencing financial hardship?
Apply for a free community-supported membership
Comments
advertisement
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer:
SPECIAL DEAL FOR PAST TPM MEMBERS
40% OFF AN ANNUAL PRIME MEMBERSHIP
REJOIN FOR JUST $30