" "There should be no doubt that Russian Federation perceives its past efforts" to disrupt the 2016 presidential campaign "as a success, ' and it 'views the 2018 midterm elections" as another opportunity to conduct an attack, said Coats, testifying at the committee's annual worldwide threats hearing".
Testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on February 13, the directors of the CIA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Security Agency, and three other spy agencies all agreed with the assessment that Moscow had not curtailed its efforts to influence USA politics since the 2016 presidential election.
"Appearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats said that Russian Federation will continue using propaganda, false personas and social media to undermine the upcoming elections".
At the same time, Coats said he expects that "North Korea will continue to use cyber operations to raise funds, launch attacks and gather intelligence against the United States".
As the midterm elections approach, Russian Federation is likely to throw more propaganda at Americans, using people sympathetic to their messages and fake personalities on social media - many of them run by bots - to sow further political and social divisions in the United States, the top US intelligence officials said Tuesday.
President Donald Trump still isn't buying that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats speaks at a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on worldwide threats, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in Washington.
The intelligence chiefs told the Senate Intelligence Committee that they were concerned about the upcoming midterm elections.
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Apart from threats to the region, Coats also pointed out that Pakistan would threaten USA interests as well by developing new nuclear weapons capabilities and maintaining ties to militants.
"We are pulling all of our elements of intelligence gathering together to provide a very, very deep dive into what China's plan - is doing now and what their plans are for the future and how it would - impact on the United States", he said.
Coats said to assume interference from Russian Federation and maybe others in upcoming national, state and local elections.
He added Pakistan was "drawing closer to China", a country that is increasingly described by Americans - especially the Trump administration - as a threat, a rival and a "strategic competitor" to the US.
But members of Trump's cabinet have bucked Trump and sided with the intelligence community including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who said in October: "When a country can come interfere in another country's elections, that is warfare".
But Sen. Angus King, a ME independent who caucuses with Democrats, argued that Trump's refusal to acknowledge Russia's role in 2016 makes collective federal action impossible.
"I would just say, as we said publicly, that we had grave concerns about that memo's release", he said. "This is pervasive. The Russians have a strategy that goes well beyond what's happening here in the United States".
"The effort to be bipartisan is not only public, but it's private", Burr said.