Trump tells attorney general to end Russian Federation probe

Fire engines are seen near the wreckage of a plane that crashed with 97 passengers and four crew on board on take off at the airport of Durango in northern Mexico

Fire engines are seen near the wreckage of a plane that crashed with 97 passengers and four crew on board on take off at the airport of Durango in northern Mexico

The U.S. intelligence community remains concerned about election security, and Russian Federation is still trying to interfere in American elections, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said on Thursday.

Mr Mueller - a respected former Federal Bureau of Investigation director - is investigating whether the Trump campaign aided or abetted an attempt by Russian Federation to sway the 2016 presidential election, or tried to cover up the conspiracy.

"We have not seen that kind of robust campaign from them so far", Coats said in a briefing at the White House on Thursday.

That effort includes three pillars: 1) investigations and operations; 2) information and intelligence sharing, working with worldwide partners to combat threats; and 3) establish strong relationships with the private sector, providing actionable intelligence to technology companies, and meeting with top social media executives "so they can better monitor their own platforms".

Homeland security chief Kirstjen Nielsen said: "Our democracy is in the crosshairs".

Wray would not discuss specific investigations, but White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did bring up "inauthentic" pages and accounts that were removed by Facebook on Tuesday, pointing out that they were all anti-Trump.

FBI Director Chris Wray added Russian Federation was using "traditional intelligence trade craft" and computer hacking to try and influence USA elections.

"The president has said other people also may have been involved in the efforts to interfere with the 2016 election", Karl said.

That's why Trump's tweets and news conference performance are "so frustrating to me because it clouded that reality, and fell into this image that he prefers a strongman like Vladimir Putin, who we know is a KGB thug", he said.

During the rally in Pennsylvania on Thursday, Trump did not mention allegations of interference or attacks on the USA democratic process.

"The bottom line for election security is to make sure that we have paper ballots and that we have audits after the election to pick up on whether there were any risks" to election results, Wyden told reporters.

A federal special counsel is leading a criminal investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election, and any possible cooperation with Mr Trump's presidential campaign.

"We're aware that Russian Federation is not the only country that has an interest in trying to influence our domestic political environment", Coats said, though he declined to be more specific.

In an effort to thwart interference in US elections, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden said he hoped to win support for his bill that would require the use of paper ballots for voting.

Then later that week, Coats said he wished Trump had made a "different statement" standing next to Putin.

She noted it's not "unreasonable" for election officials to ask for an ID.

"The president has made it clear that his administration will not tolerate foreign interference in our elections from any nation-state or other risky actors", Sanders said at the beginning of the briefing.

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