Defense Sec Jim Mattis says military may be used to defend against Russian meddling — but won't say how
Donald Trump speaks to Jim Mattis (Pentagon)

On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the U.S. military may be used to defend against or prevent Russia's election meddling in the upcoming midterms — but would not elaborate as to how armed forces could be used.

The Military Times reported that Mattis also said the order to meddle in the 2016 presidential election came from Russia government itself.

"Mattis said the U.S. military’s role would be two-fold; to help defend against further meddling and to ensure troops are not ensnared by foreign information campaigns," the report noted.

"U.S. troops are part of protecting the Constitution, protecting the integrity of the elections and protecting what we stand for," the Defense secretary said during a Pentagon ceremony Tuesday.

“We are focused on protecting the elections themselves,” he continued, "so we’re looking at both this influence peddling and the corrupting, the violating the integrity of the elections, and those activities are in direct support of law enforcement and Department of Homeland Security."