GOP congressional candidate: Trump focused on providing 'digital and physical' security to U.S.

Republican congressional candidate Jeffrey Dove praised President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE's handling of the United States's physical and digital security amid the ongoing special counsel probe into Russia's election interference. 

"I feel like as an elected official, our primary responsibilities are actually the physical and digital security of all Americans, and that's something the president seems to really be focused on, and he's been talking about it since his time on the campaign trail," Dove, who is running in Virginia's 11th Congressional District, told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on "Rising." 

"On the digital security? I mean, he talks about the Russian hoax, he won't say to Vladimir Putin's face that Russia was involved in election meddling. I haven't seen him be very strong on digital security," Ball asked Dove. 

"The DNI [director of national intelligence] has been dealing with new methods of trying to combat the Russian meddling," Dove responded. 

"I think that we can all see that Russia and various countries try to attack our country all the time. I worked in IT for the past nine years. I can tell you for a fact that we are constantly attacked by any number of people, and I think that this president will address this issue coming to 2018 and to 2020," he continued. 

Dove's comments come as special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE is probing alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia's election interference during the 2016 presidential race. 

Trump faced backlash last month after he did not press or condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin for Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election, while appearing to downplay the conclusions of U.S. intelligence.

DNI Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsSchiff schedules public hearing with US intel chief  Rod Rosenstein joins law and lobbying firm DHS issues bulletin warning of potential Iranian cyberattack MORE said last week that Trump directed him to secure U.S. elections against foreign influence campaigns. 

Coats has also previously said he was not aware of what was discussed during Trump's private meeting with Putin. 

— Julia Manchester