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PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — The Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen appeared in Philadelphia on Saturday to warn about possible Russia interference in November’s midterm elections.
She said that there are no signs that Russia is targeting this year’s midterm elections with the same “scale or scope” it targeted the 2016 presidential election.
Nielsen spoke at a convention of state secretaries of state, an event that’s usually a low-key affair highlighting voter registration, balloting devices, and election security issues that don’t get much public attention.
But coming amid fresh allegations into Russia’s attempts to sway the 2016 election, the sessions on election security have a higher level of urgency and interest.
Nielsen says her department is ready to help states foil the cyber attacks from Russia or elsewhere.
She said U.S. intelligence officials are seeing “persistent Russian efforts using social media, sympathetic spokespeople, and other fronts to sow discord and divisiveness amongst the American people, though not necessarily focused on specific politicians or political campaigns.”
The conference of top state election officials she addressed was sandwiched between Friday’s indictments of 12 Russian military intelligence officers alleged to have hacked into Democratic party and campaign accounts and Monday’s long-awaited meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.