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Top spy: ‘Russians hack our systems all the time’

Top spy: ‘Russians hack our systems all the time’
© Lauren Schneiderman

Russian hackers are constantly targeting U.S. computer networks, the nation’s top intelligence official said Wednesday, in an apparent tip of his hand toward blaming Moscow for recent attacks on Democratic Party institutions.

“The Russians hack our systems all the time,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said at the Intelligence and National Security Summit in Washington. “Not just government but also corporate and personal systems.”

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“So do the Chinese and others, including non-state actors,” he added.

Clapper declined to specifically address the hacks of Democratic groups, which have been traced to hackers with suspected Russian ties.

But he referred to comments previously made by President Obama that “experts have attributed this to the Russians.”

“So I won’t get out ahead of the president on this, particularly while the FBI is conducting an investigation,” Clapper said.

“The point is, cyber will continue to be a huge problem for the next presidential administration.”

The comments are among the closest the intelligence community has come to fingering Russia for the theft of emails and other documents from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and other campaign arms.

Revelations in the documents — including signs that senior DNC officials were pushing Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats say it's up to GOP to stop Trump 2024 Hillary Clinton to speak at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders summit More than half of eligible Latinos voted in 2020, setting record MORE's presidential bid over that of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders: Netanyahu has cultivated 'racist nationalism' Former OMB pick Neera Tanden to serve as senior adviser to Biden Tensions mount among Democrats over US-Israel policy MORE (I-Vt.) — forced the resignation of Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and other officials this summer.

The hack has raised concerns that Russia is trying to influence the election, in an icy standoff in some ways reminiscent of the Cold War. The FBI is also investigating, separately, whether hackers tied to Russia infiltrated electoral systems in Arizona and Illinois.

Russia has denied allegations that it has been involved in the hacks.

Yet Democrats have been quick to point to the signs of Russian cyber activity as evidence that GOP presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpVirginia GOP gubernatorial nominee acknowledges Biden was 'legitimately' elected Biden meets with DACA recipients on immigration reform Overnight Health Care: States begin lifting mask mandates after new CDC guidance | Walmart, Trader Joe's will no longer require customers to wear masks | CDC finds Pfizer, Moderna vaccines 94 percent effective in health workers MORE is a stooge for the Kremlin, using rhetoric seemingly unprecedented in modern U.S. politics.