Angus King (I-Maine) grew visibly frustrated and urged the intelligence chiefs to persuade President Donald Trump that their findings are correct and Russian Federation indeed interfered in the US election.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo testified on Tuesday that President Donald Trump's suggestion that the agency had spent thousands to buy damaging information about him was based on "atrocious" and "ridiculous" information. Coats backed up the statement.
"Against our adversaries who seek to sew division in the United States and weaken USA leadership, and non-state actors, including terrorists and criminal groups, are exploiting weak state capacity in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America, causing instability and violence both within states and among states", he said.
"We had then, and continue to have now, grave concerns about the accuracy of the memorandum because of omissions", Wray said.
US officials have long anxious that Russian Federation might interfere in the upcoming elections, repeating a campaign of disruption it waged during the 2016 USA presidential vote and a series of European elections in 2017.
"I don't disagree that some of the briefings have been not exceptionally helpful", he said. "I like to think that our folks are pretty sturdy".
Sen. Warner said he was concerned about the use of social media by bad actors and asked what single agency was in charge with identifying and countering that threat. The American people are smart people.
"The South Korean people seem to have been charmed to some degree, some of them seem to have been captivated by it", he added. Rand Paul forced a short-lived government shutdown by filibustering on the Senate floor over what he described as hypocrisy by Republicans who passed steep tax cuts without slashing federal spending. "It's clearly something that needs to be addressed, and addressed as quickly as possible". But that skepticism has endured even after Trump hand-selected his own intel chiefs and they reiterated the conclusions of their predecessors.
Without specifically referring to any terrorist incident by Pakistan-based groups, Coats told the lawmakers that he expects tension between the two Asian neighbours. The failure to address our long-term fiscal situation has increased the national debt to over 20 trillion [and] growing.
"We still don't have a comprehensive plan", Warner said, referring to a strategy to guard the nation's political process from intrusions.
Coats also highlighted the increasing threat posed by North Korea's unwillingness to "negotiate its nuclear weapons and missiles away", as the regime views its nuclear weapons as "critical to its security".
"This is an existential threat potentially to the United States but also to North Korea", Coats said. They warned that such risks were likely to only grow, citing Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, along with militant groups and criminal networks, as the main agitators.
The intelligence chiefs' testimony coincided with the release of the government's annual intelligence report on global threats.
Pompeo conceded that some effort was undertaken to reacquire the pilfered material. "I need to know, what actions do I need to take to make my systems secure against any cyber threat?"
"The suggestion the Central Intelligence Agency was swindled is false", he said.
A separate Justice Department investigation has resulted in the indictments of two former associates and guilty pleas from two others, including Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.