Ex-DHS chief: ‘I know of no such evidence’ Russia altered vote counts

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Tuesday he knows of “no such evidence” Russia altered vote counts in the 2016 presidential election.

“We saw efforts by Russian intelligence at scanning and probing voter registration databases," the former Obama administration official said on MSNBC’s “MTP Daily," adding U.S. officials "were very concerned about it."

“I know of no such evidence that actual counts were altered by any type of cyberattack," he continued. "It is the case we saw and we saw no actual altering of voter counts."

Johnson, who left the government in January, added that former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaIntelligence for the days after President Trump leaves office Barack Obama sends Valentine's message to Michelle: 'She does get down to Motown' For 2020, Democrats are lookin’ for somebody to love MORE’s administration was “very concerned” about the possibility of interference in the 2016 race.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We were very concerned that a bad actor could infiltrate voter registration databases – and this is where a lot of our effort was focused, I think rightly – and perhaps wipe out a list, wipe out voters’ registration from the rolls in key places.”

House Intelligence Committee leaders on Tuesday said they plan to ask Johnson to testify publicly in their investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 race.

Meanwhile, Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears Steel lobby's PR blitz can't paper over damaging effects of tariffs Drama hits Senate Intel panel’s Russia inquiry MORE (Va.), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee that is also probing Russia's meddling efforts, said that Russia's election interference expanded beyond an explosive intelligence reported revealed this week.

“[T]he extent of the attacks is much broader than has been reported so far,” Warner told USA Today. “None of these actions from the Russians stopped on Election Day.”

The website The Intercept on Monday, citing an apparently classified document that had been leaked, reported that Russian intelligence agents hacked a U.S. voting systems manufacturer in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election.

The outlet cited a leaked National Security Agency (NSA) investigation report it obtained, which said the agency believed hackers used the breach to obtain information used to spearfish its customers.

The Russian intelligence agency GRU reportedly targeted more than 120 email addresses associated with local government organizations, which the report speculates were taken from the earlier hack.