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DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen: Russia was not ‘taking sides’ when it hacked 2016 election to help Trump

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Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Thursday asserted that the Russian government is not trying to pick sides when it interferes in U.S. elections — even though the Senate Intelligence Committee determined that Russians meddled in the 2016 election to help then-candidate Donald Trump win.

At a National Security Forum event on Thursday, Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, asked Nielsen what the department was doing to protect elections from Russian hackers.

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“The question I get asked all the time is, ‘Are the Russians trying to hack today?'” Nielsen explained. “That’s not the right question. In my mind, the question is, ‘Do they have the capability?’ And the answer to that is, absolutely, yes.”

“And I think for sure they will engage in campaign information warfare in the 2018 elections,” McCaul said. “I think their goal is not picking sides. It’s just sowing the seeds of chaos.”

“Oh, it’s chaos,” Nielsen agreed. “We saw them in [2016] encouraging protests on one side and encouraging protests on the other side at the same event.”

“It’s not so much — exactly as you say — about taking sides,” she added. “They are just trying to sow mistrust, you know. So Americans aren’t sure what information is real. And then chaos and, frankly, incitement to violence in some cases as we saw with the protests.”

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Maddow walks through existence of a ‘whistleblower’ alleging the IRS is mishandling Trump’s taxes

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MSNBC's Rachel Maddow reported Thursday on the "confetti canon" of new filings in the legal battle between the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the House Ways and Means Committee over access to President Donald Trump's tax returns.

Maddow reported on Exhibit QQ in the latest filings, which is a letter from Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

"On July 29, 2019, the Committee received an unsolicited communication from a Federal employee setting forth credible allegations of 'evidence of possible misconduct' -- specifically, potential 'inappropriate efforts to influence' the mandatory audit program," Exhibit QQ read.

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Texas governor busted sending racist call-to-arms a day before El Paso attack: ‘take matters into our own hands’

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On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) tweeted out a message of unity and promised to work to reduce violence in his state, in the wake of the shooting in El Paso that left 22 dead and dozens more injured:

Today we had hearings responding to the tragic shooting in El Paso.

We focused on community healing, combating domestic terrorism, reducing hateful ideologies, & keeping guns out of hands of deranged killers while respecting 2nd Amendment rights.

We’ll keep TX safe.#txlege pic.twitter.com/ymct4aiSgK

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Facebook bans far-right website from pro-Trump advertising after they try to skirt transparency rules

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On Thursday, NBC News reported that Facebook has banned the Epoch Times from placing political advertisements, after the right-wing website tried to conceal its multimillion-dollar dark money streams and get around the social network's political advertising transparency rules in its propaganda supporting President Donald Trump.

The Epoch Times had tried to skirt rules by running ads under puppet names like "Honest Paper" and "Pure American Journalism," confusing users about who was really behind the ads.

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