WASHINGTON Oct 2 A senior Democratic lawmaker
said Sunday he had "no doubt" that Russia was behind recent
hacking attempts targeting state election systems, and urged the
Obama administration to publicly blame Moscow for trying to
undermine confidence in the Nov. 8 presidential contest.
The remarks from Representative Adam Schiff, the top
Democrat on the intelligence committee in the U.S. House of
Representatives, come amid heightened concerns among U.S. and
state officials about the security of voting machines and
databases, and unsubstantiated allegations from Republican
candidate Donald Trump that the election could be "rigged."
"I have no doubt [this is Russia]. And I don't think the
administration has any doubt," Schiff said during an appearance
on ABC's "This Week."
Schiff's call to name and shame the Kremlin came a week
after Trump questioned widely held conclusions made privately by
the U.S. intelligence community that Russia is responsible for
the hacking activity.
"It could be Russia, but it could also be China," Trump said
during a televised debate with Democratic candidate Hillary
Clinton. "It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that
weighs 400 pounds."
On Saturday, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said
hackers have probed the voting systems of many U.S. states but
there is no sign that they have manipulated any voting data.
Schiff said he doubted hackers could falsify vote tallies in
a way to affect the election outcome. Officials and experts have
said the decentralized and outdated nature of U.S. voting
technology makes such hacks more unlikely.
But cyber attacks on voter registration systems could "sow
discord" on election day, Schiff said. He further added that
leaks of doctored emails would be difficult to disprove and
could "be election altering."
The National Security Agency, FBI and DHS all concluded
weeks ago that Russian intelligence agencies conducted, directed
or coordinated all the major cyberattacks on U.S. political
organizations, including the Democratic National Committee, and
individuals, a U.S. official who is participating in the
investigations said on Sunday.
However, the official said, White House officials have
resisted naming the Russians publicly because doing so could
result in escalating cyberattacks, and because it is considered
impossible to offer public, unclassified proof of the
Schiff and Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the
U.S. Senate intelligence committee, said last month they had
concluded Russian intelligence agencies were "making a serious
and concerted effort to influence the U.S. election."
(Reporting by Dustin Volz and John Walcott; Editing by Nick