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Nielsen was speaking to reporters on election security when she was asked about the January 2017 assessment, which concluded Russian Federation interfered in the election to help Donald Trump and hurt former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

"Do you have any reason to doubt the January 2017 intelligence community assessment that said it was Vladimir Putin who tried to meddle in the election to help President Trump win?" a reporter asked Department of Homeland Security Sec.

"We see them continuing to conduct foreign influence campaigns", Nielsen said, but added there was no evidence that Russian Federation had been targeting specific races. She also very clearly articulated today that the Russian government unequivocally worked to undermine our democracy during the 2016 election. "Russian goals included undermining faith in the US democratic process and harming a candidate's electability and potential presidency".

Following a classified election security briefing for Congress, Nielsen spoke to reporters, including CNN's Manu Raju.

Nielsen's lack of seriousness about Russian meddling reflects the Trump administration's disposition more broadly.

After a 14-month review, "we see no reason to dispute the conclusions" of the intelligence agencies, said the committee's chairman, Senator Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina. So we've seen them encourage people go to a protest on one side; we've seen them simultaneously encourage people to go to that same protest on the other side.

Clapper continued to address the recent barrage of both tweets and oral attacks from the President and his allies by reiterating that his work as director of national intelligence related to Trump and his campaign was about trying to determine what the Russians were doing to interfere with American elections.

"House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said they would not support a bipartisan statement that might hurt their nominee for president", Clapper writes in an excerpt of the book published by NPR. "As the secretary reiterated - their intent was to sow discord in the American electoral process", the spokesman, Tyler Houlton, said. "The Secretary agrees with that assessment".

Law enforcement and intelligence officials say the administration's stance was consistent with customary law enforcement and intelligence agency practice to avoid influencing voters in the run-up to an election.

Shortly after the comment surfaced on social media, vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee Sen. They claimed in their report that the intelligence community didn't follow its best practices when it concluded Russian Federation favored Trump in the election.