Russia is engaged in “information warfare” on American soil, and their meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign is just a part of a strategy to undermine the Western democracies, which continues to this day, the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on Thursday.
“Unfortunately, you can’t learn … to discredit these efforts by Russia, the United States and weaknesses in the West are new. These efforts are, in fact, in the heart of the Russian and previously the Soviet Union’s intelligence efforts,” said Sen. Richard Burr, R-N. C., at the start of a key hearing of his Committee.
The focus of the hearing, the question of how the Kremlin, allegedly used technology to spread disinformation in the United States and Europe. Vladimir Putin on Thursday dismissed what he called “the endless and groundless” accusations of Russian intervention.
But the ranking democratic member of the Mark Warner said Putin ordered a “deliberate campaign” to help US dig. The Virginia senator said the Russian engaged in a disinformation campaign, the “effective use of his hacking skills to steal and weaponize information and integration in a coordinated effort to damage a certain candidate and undermine the public confidence in our democratic process.”
While the intelligence committee, the hearings are only rarely held in public, Burr said it was necessary to ensure that the American people know that “our community is the target of Russian information warfare, propaganda, cyber – campaigns-and still is.”
Roy godson, professor of Government at Georgetown University, said the panel, the Russians have “competent, experienced, and running strong teams at home in their state and quasi-state agencies” and to “maintain and develop both an overt and covert apparatus of the well-trained staff” to their manipulation efforts.
Both senators agreed to Russian interference in foreign elections is unbroken.
The hearing comes a day after Burr and Warner held to outline a Capitol Hill press conference that their investigation into the Russian participation in the elections of 2016.
According to Burr, the Senate Committee interviews with 20 persons and five asked have been planned to date.
Both committed to avoid the partisan rancor that defined the House probe.
House Intelligence Committee Democrats have called for the Committee Chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes to recuse themselves because of ties to Trump management.
Critics say that the California Republican to make the decision, make a secret source from the White house grounds last week, material classified evidence for its inability to conduct an impartial investigation.
Nunes has refused to resign and the speaker of the house of representatives, Paul Ryan has expressed support for him.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.