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Coats joined Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, FBI Director Christopher Wray, National Security Adviser John Bolton and General Paul Nakasone at the briefing.

"As I have said consistently: Russian Federation attempted to interfere with the last election and continues to engage in malign influence operations to this day", Christopher Wray, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said at a White House press briefing on Thursday.

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee who has criticized Trump for not taking a stronger leadership role on election security, said he was heartened by the White House news conference.

Coats passed the baton to Bolton, who said Trump and Putin discussed Russia's election interference.

Director Coats said Russian Federation has employed several means to exert influence in the US: media, social media, bots, "actors that they hire through proxies", "and potentially more".

"Our democracy itself is in the crosshairs", Nielsen said.

Potential coordination between Russian government agents and the Trump campaign is still a matter of investigation by Mueller's team, which is also investigating potential obstruction of justice by the president.

Wray outlined a number of ways that Russian Federation and others were attempting to influence domestic politics and sow discord.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, National Security Adviser John Bolton, DHS Secretary Nielsen and FBI Director Chris Wray each took turns describing how each of their agencies is working to combat the threat.

Turkey threatens to retaliate against any United States sanctions over detained pastor
US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence had threatened Turkey with painful sanctions if the pastor was not freed. Commission on International Religious Freedom, said in a statement: "The president is not acting alone".

Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi released from Israeli prison
ESTRIN: Power to the people, the young Tamimi told reporters and activists at a press conference in her village of Nabi Salih. He said she initially hoped to attend a West Bank university but has also received scholarship offers from overseas .

Zim elections results due at 12.30pm on Wednesday
But Chamisa, 40, a lawyer and pastor who performed strongly on the campaign trail, sought to tap into the youth and urban vote. A shocked Zimbabwean told News24: "Those tankers "we" celebrated past year in November are being used against us".

A senior US official said the Russian meddling campaign had accelerated and grown more sophisticated since the 2016 election and was not directed at boosting one political party over another.

Facebook Inc said on Tuesday it had uncovered a new coordinated political influence campaign to mislead its users and sow dissension among voters ahead of congressional elections. 'We have to keep getting better at it'.

It has been nearly three weeks since President Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki for two hours, and we still have very little idea what they spoke about.

Amid the criticism from both sides of the political aisle, Mr Trump's personal attorneys also sought to walk back the comment, insisting the president was not ordering Sessions to do anything.

The threat is coming not only from Russian Federation but other governments, the officials said at the White House.

Manafort served as Trump's campaign chief from May to August 2016 and the president asked Wednesday: "why didn't government tell me that he was under investigation". State and county officials have complained, however, that they lack money and time to make voting systems more secure.

The NSA director said his agency and US Cyber Command were "prepared to conduct operations against those actors attempting to undermine our nation's midterm elections".

'It's not unreasonable. If I return something to a department store, if I have to cash a check I have to show my ID in order do those things, ' she said.