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Homeland Security: Voting systems should be fortified as ‘critical infrastructure’ to guard against hacks

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Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on Wednesday that he has raised the possibility of having electronic voting machines declared a “critical infrastructure” sector in order to guard against a possible cyber-attack during the November election, the New York Times reported.

“There are various different points in the process that we have to be concerned about, so this is something that we are very focused on right at the moment,” he said at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

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The department currently uses the designation to cover 16 sectors — including dams, financial services, and transportation systems, among others — deemed “so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination thereof.”

Johnson said President Barack Obama’s administration was considering how to institute voter protections in the 9,000 jurisdictions around the country, citing the “vital national interest” in the electoral process. The secretary said he has already contacted state and local officials to discuss “best practices” to fight off hacking attempts.

“There are various different points in the process that we have to be concerned about, so this is something that we are very focused on right at the moment,” he said.

A spokesperson for the National Association of Secretaries of State, Kay Stimson, told USA Today that it’s hard for the country’s voting system to be attacked online because each state governs its own process, while 60 percent of the states hold audits after every election.

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“It’s also important to point out that our election systems are not Internet-based systems,” said Stimson. “They are closed systems.”


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Trump Organization boasts about India towers just days after Eric Trump says family doesn’t do international business

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The Trump Organization undermined Eric Trump's lie about the president's family ending its international business dealings.

President Donald Trump's second son falsely claimed last week to Fox News host Laura Ingraham that he and his siblings "got out of all international business" after their father took office.

"The difference between us and Hunter (Biden) is, when my father became commander in chief of this country, we got out of all international business," Eric Trump said.

However, the Trump Organization run by Eric Trump and his older brother Donald Trump Jr. sent out a tweet Monday morning promoting the Trump Towers in Pune, India.

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Trump wants to ‘wash his hands of responsibility for the Kurds’: US official tells NBC News

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A source reportedly told NBC News on Monday that President Donald Trump wants to "wash his hands of responsibility for the Kurds."

NBC correspondent Richard Engel reported the remarks on Monday morning.

"US officials tell me Trump wants to wash his hands of responsibility for the Kurds," Engel wrote on Twitter. "The US mil/gov gave Kurds REPEATED assurances of protection. US even asked Kurds to REMOVE defenses BEFORE the Turkish offensive. Kurds complied and now being displaced. WH says not our problem."

Read the tweet below.

US officials tell me Trump wants to wash his hands of responsibility for the Kurds. The US mil/gov gave Kurds REPEATED assurances of protection. US even asked Kurds to REMOVE defenses BEFORE the Turkish offensive. Kurds complied and now being displaced. WH says not our problem.

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Steve Schmidt: Trump’s ‘corruption’ is dragging America into ‘banana republic territory’

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On Monday's edition of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," former George W. Bush and John McCain adviser Steve Schmidt laid into President Donald Trump's "corruption," warning that it is undermining the foundations of the rule of law.

"The corruption is just unbelievable," said Schmidt, who recently left the Republican Party to become an independent. "And if you look back to the Republican convention, Joe, when we talked about it at the time, the chants of lock them up — what I said about it at the time was it was banana republicanism."

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