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    The Biden team will consider taking legal action in transitioning from Trump’s administration as long as the president continues to refuse to cooperate after the election. A transition official told Fox News that several options are on the table to move forward with Biden’s transfer to power with Trump not living up to the law. The General Services Administration (GSA) has not yet made an ascertainment decision on Biden, withholding the green light to begin his transition. The delay is costing the Biden team access to more than $6 million in federal funding, security clearances and the ability to meet with other officials at intelligence agencies. Trump has challenged the result of the election amid allegations of voter fraud in swing states. LIVE UPDATES: MCCONNEL BACKS TRUMP LEGAL FIGHT IN ELECTION RESULTS The official said not recognizing Biden’s transition team also denies access to the State Department – which facilitates calls between...
              A GOP poll watcher reported that officials allowed workers to use ballot machines that were missing security seals in Gwinnett County, Georgia. Beth Sexton first called into The Tennessee Star Election 2020 Unmasked tip line to report the incident on Monday. According to the report Sexton gave the tip line, a group of concerned-looking poll workers were gathered around a ballot machine. When Sexton approached them, she overheard them discussing missing security seals. Ballot box security seals are small colored plastic tags that have codes or numbers printed on them. Sexton asked a nearby polls manager what was occurring but was told she couldn’t ask questions. At that point, Sexton reported that she called the hotline number they’d been given. The worker told her to take note of what happened and return to work. As soon as Sexton returned inside, she saw another group of...
    CIBOLO, Texas – Homeland Security Investigations officials say a man is behind bars following two raids on Monday. The raids were conducted at a gun shop on I-35 and FM 3009 and at a home on Penick Way in Cibolo. HSI says the investigation is in connection with wire fraud and firearms. KSAT is working to gather more details and will provide updates as new information becomes available. Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.
    The United States has levied sanctions against four Chinese officials in Hong Kong’s security establishment for what it says is their role in cracking down on dissent. In a statement attributed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the four are connected “with implementing the PRC-imposed National Security Law and threatening the peace, security, and autonomy of Hong Kong, pursuant to Executive Order 13936.” Those sanctioned are Li Jiangzhou, Edwina Lau, Steve Li Kwai-wah and Deng Zhonghua. According to the State Department, Li Jiangzhou is the deputy director of the Office for Safeguarding National Security, established under the national security law. Lau is head of the National Security Division of the Hong Kong Police Force, and Li Kwai-Wah is the senior superintendent. Deng is the deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office. “These individuals will be barred from traveling to the United States, and their assets within the...
    President TrumpDonald John Trump Republican Philadelphia official responsible for vote counting says office getting death threats Biden will call governors, mayors about mask mandate Trump campaign voter fraud hotline flooded with prank calls MORE on Monday fired Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperWashington braces for unpredictable post-election period Pentagon officials keep low profiles as political battle rages Worries grow about rudderless post-election Pentagon MORE in what Republicans expect to be the first of several leadership changes during the final two months of the Trump administration. The president has also indicated to allies that two top officials on his intelligence team are on the chopping block: FBI Director Christopher Wray and CIA Director Gina HaspelGina Cheri HaspelOvernight Defense: Is Trump going to fire Esper? | Head of nuclear security agency resigns | US military acknowledges two civilian injuries in Somalia Talk grows of Trump firings at Pentagon, CIA Why it's time for...
    Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump and some of his conservative allies have become increasingly frustrated with CIA Director Gina Haspel in recent weeks, accusing her of delaying the release of documents they believe would expose so-called "deep state" plots against Trump's campaign and transition during the Obama administration, according to multiple current and former officials. Those frustrations have lingered since Election Day, with a senior administration official and three former administration officials with knowledge of the situation telling CNN they expect the President to remove Haspel from her post, as he did Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Monday. FBI Director Christopher Wray has also provoked Trump's ire, fueling some uncertainty about his future, according to the same sources. If Trump were to fire Haspel and Wray, who along with Esper are two of his most senior national security officials, it would likely add to the sense of chaos inside the administration...
    BERLIN (AP) — German security officials on Monday defended the decision to let 20,000 people march through the eastern city of Leipzig in a protest against coronavirus restrictions, despite participants flouting the requirement to wear masks and some right-wing extremists attacking police officers and journalists. Leipzig police ordered the rally Saturday to disband after determining that hygiene rules were being ignored, but didn’t stop participants from continuing their march through the city, prompting accusations from Germany’s justice minister that police had surrendered the streets to “marauding hooligans.” A spokesman for Germany’s Interior Minister said police in Leipzig had decided to pursue a strategy of “de-escalation” in light of the size and composition of the protest. “According to the interior minister’s view the police rightly chose to bring the situation to an end as calmly as possible and not to use water cannons and tear gas against retirees, children and families,”...
    The Dominion Voting Systems, which has been used in multiple states where fraud has been alleged in the 2020 U.S. Election, was rejected three times by data communications experts from the Texas Secretary of State and Attorney General’s Office for failing to meet basic security standards. Unlike Texas, other states certified the use of the system, including Pennsylvania, where voter fraud has been alleged on multiple counts this week. Dominion Voting Systems, a Canadian company headquartered in Denver, is one of three companies primarily used in U.S. elections. The others are Election Systems and Software and Texas based-Hart InterCivic. The Dominion system was implemented in North Carolina and Nevada, where election results are being challenged, and in Georgia and Michigan, where a “ glitch” that occurred reversed thousands of votes for Republican President Donald Trump to Democrat Joe Biden. While Biden declared victory Saturday in his...
    It’s more likely than not, as of this writing, that Joe Biden will defeat Donald Trump once the final votes are counted. That is only a half a victory for the alliance of centrist Democrats and national-security veterans known colloquially as the #Resistance. That loose coalition, influential amongst Democratic elites and prominent on social media, was looking not only for a Biden victory but a landslide repudiation of Donald Trump. Their theory of governing a post-Trump country depends upon a repudiation of MAGA—what Biden called a battle for the soul of America. While the margin of victory was wide, around four million votes, it wasn’t the hoped-for political annihilation. John Sipher, a former CIA officer prominent in the #Resistance, summed it up by tweeting Tuesday night that he didn’t understand his country. That echoed the major criticism of the #Resistance coming from both Republicans and the left. As Trump likely...
              In a viral video posted Wednesday afternoon, a woman alleged that Governor Gretchen Whitmer had ordered health officials to block poll watchers and challengers from entering a Detroit ballot counting facility. The woman, Connie Johnson, shot the video using Facebook Live. She showed herself standing on the second floor of the TCF Center in Detroit. The following is her account of the ballot counting on Wednesday afternoon in Detroit. Johnson explained that ballots had arrived overnight for Wayne County. As Johnson spoke, a crowd’s roar of “STOP THE COUNT!” looped constantly in the background. The woman reported that she had left the GOP office to make copies. When she returned, Johnson stated that she was stopped by security in the elevator. When she called her attorney, he informed her that she had to identify herself as a poll official. Even with that information,...
    Even members of President Trump’s own national security team are worried about the misleading information he’s pushing about the vote count. And they’re increasingly concerned that the president will not respect the final results. Top national security officials say they have spent the days since the election tracking disinformation about the vote count, including Team Trump’s efforts to erode trust in the ballot tallying and reporting process. Despite working with the big social media companies to flag some of those falsities, officials say there is little they can do to prevent the president’s team from propagating disinformation in public—from Twitter to nationally televised press conferences. With increasingly flagrant efforts by Trump to cast doubt on the vote tallies, officials are preparing for how to handle a situation in which the race is officially called for Joe Biden—and Trump refuses to concede. He’s already insisted multiple times that he’s the real...
    Winter Driving Tips Vatican report on disgraced ex U.S. cardinal McCarrick expected this month: sources Officials on alert for potential cyber threats after a quiet Election Day Election officials are cautiously declaring victory after no reports of major cyber incidents on Election Day. © Greg Nash Officials on alert for potential cyber threats after a quiet Election Day "After millions of Americans voted, we have no evidence any foreign adversary was capable of preventing Americans from voting or changing vote tallies," Christopher Krebs, the director of the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said in a statement Wednesday. Load Error But the long shadow of 2016, when the U.S. fell victim to extensive Russian interference, has those same officials on guard for potential attacks as key battleground states tally up remaining ballots. Agencies that have worked to bolster election security over the past years...
    WASHINGTON - U.S. security officials are bracing for a new round of potential attacks on the country's election, with polling sites across the country starting to shut down and unofficial results starting to come in.  "We're not going to let our guard down," a senior official with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) told reporters late Tuesday, speaking only on the condition of anonymity.  "It's presenting a whole new attack surface," the official added.  U.S. election security officials had expressed confidence the 2020 election would be "the most secure election in modern history" heading into the nationwide vote.  Some officials Tuesday even described the threat environment as "much quieter" than in 2016, when Russian hackers targeted systems in all 50 states.  Election workers open ballots at the Palm Beach County Elections Office during the 2020 U.S. presidential election in West Palm Beach, Florida, Nov. 3, 2020.But as...
    WASHINGTON - Efforts to secure U.S. voting infrastructure and to hunt down potential cyber threats appear to be paying off as millions of Americans cast ballots for president and local and state officials. U.S. election security officials continue to express confidence, hours after the first polling centers opened their doors to voters on Tuesday, the last day for citizens to cast a ballot. A senior official with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), briefing reporters only on the condition of anonymity, described the threat to the country’s election infrastructure as “much quieter” than in 2016, when Russian hackers targeted systems in all 50 states. “At this point, this just looks like any other election day and even just another Tuesday,” the official added, noting technical issues had caused some problems across the United States, though many of them had been resolved. Some polling places across the country reported...
    WASHINGTON - Officials overseeing U.S. election security are expressing confidence as voters across the country head to the polls to cast ballots for president and a multitude of state and local races.   Millions of Americans were expected to vote in person Tuesday, the last day for citizens to cast a ballot, in addition to the more than 100 million, who voted by mail or at early voting centers.   And despite indications that U.S. adversaries will try to disrupt the election process, early evidence suggests any such attempts have failed to make an impact.   “We have no indications that a foreign adversary has succeeded in compromising or affecting the actual votes cast in this election," acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said at a briefing just hours after the first polling sites opened their doors.   “Our election infrastructure is resilient,” he said. “But we do remain...
    (CNN)If President Donald Trump can find the time to digest his intelligence briefings this week, he will likely be confronted with the reality of some worrisome election security threats. But we can't count on Trump to pay any mind to actual intelligence, nor can we count on him to mitigate threats to our elections. Samantha Vinograd Four years into Trump's presidency, malign actors have not been deterred from attacking our elections and attempting to hijack our democracy to pursue their personal agendas. Instead, our adversaries are likely feeling empowered to do so, as evidenced by the dizzying range of threat streams facing the US this election week. There is some good news. According to senior officials, including FBI Director Christopher Wray and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Chris Krebs -- our physical votes are secure. Krebs said he is "confident that no foreign cyber actor can change your...
    Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf has slammed Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in a letter accusing him of censorship of government officials that 'endangers the national security.' Wolf's letter on Friday came after Twitter suspended the official account of Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan for a post the company deemed 'hateful content.' Morgan had tweeted on Wednesday praising progress on the southern border wall: 'Every mile helps us stop gang members, murderers, sexual predators, and drugs from entering our country. It's a fact, walls work.' Twitter suspended his account for a day, and then claimed the decision had been reversed on appeal. Wolf blasted the company, saying Twitter had lied about the appeals process, and only reinstated Morgan's account after the controversy went public. Scroll down for Wolf's full letter Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf (above) slammed Twitter's CEO in a letter accusing him of...
    Acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf wrote a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey demanding that his platform stop censoring government officials. This follows Twitter’s decision to suspend the account of Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, after he posted a tweet praising President Trump’s border wall. Wolf’s letter follows: Dear Mr. Dorsey, I write to you about Twitter’s recent censorship of Mark Morgan, the Senior Official Performing the Duties of Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Not only was Twitter’s act of censorship unjustified—the tweet is supported by data—it is disturbing. As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other Federal agencies continue to rely on Twitter to share important information with the U.S. public, your censorship poses a threat to our security. Hours after you concluded testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on October 28, 2020, Twitter suspended Mr. Morgan for tweeting: “CBP & U.S....
    Chicago city leaders unveiled a 10-day Election Day preparedness plan Friday, after a summer of unrest, surges in violent crime and lockdowns amid the coronavirus pandemic.  Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city had been planning since the late summer, which she said was at times "humbling" but also "instructive." "We've been focused on two issues when it comes to Election Day," Lightfoot told reporters. "First is election integrity. The second, of course, is public safety." CHICAGO SECURITY GUARD STABBED 27 TIMES AFTER ASKING SHOPPERS T OMASK UP AMID CORONAVIRUS VideoThe Chicago Police Department will increase patrols and days off will be canceled for officers department-wide for 10 days beginning Saturday, police Superintendent David Brown said.  The department also set up hotlines for business owners to voice safety concerns.  "People in general have very high anxiety as it relates to the upcoming election and we understand that, and we are focused on ensuring our officers...
    Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said that "censorship" by Twitter presents a threat to the United States's national security. After Twitter removed a tweet from Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan and locked him out of his account for a time, Wolf wrote in a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Friday. "Such censorship is disturbing. Twitter's conduct censoring U.S. government officials also endangers the national security," Wolf said. The tweet, which was removed for violating Twitter's policy on hateful speech, read, "@CBPMarkMorgan & @USACEHQ continue to build new wall every day. Every mile helps us stop gang members, murderers, sexual predators, and drugs from entering our country. It's a fact, walls work." A video was also attached to the post. A copy of the tweet was obtained and reported by the Federalist on Thursday. DHS claimed that when the commissioner's account was blocked,...
    TikTok got yet another reprieve on Friday after a federal judge blocked a Trump administration ban which would have effectively shut down the Chinese-owned app in the US on Nov. 12. The Pennsylvania judge issued a preliminary injunction Friday that will stop US officials from restricting the popular video platform’s web hosting and content delivery after three TikTok users argued that it would stop them from being able to make a living. The judge wrote that because TikTok videos can be deemed “informational materials,” the president’s ban would stop the spread of the videos in addition to blocking “business-to-business transactions.” “[The ban] will have the effect of shutting down, within the United States, a platform for expressive activity used by approximately 700 million individuals globally,” the judge wrote. “Over 100 million of these TikTok users are within the United States, and at least 50 million of these US users...
    Senior U.S. officials revealed Thursday that security threats have been made against top Pentagon authorities not only when traveling outside the U.S., but when on American soil.   Frist reported by NBC News on Thursday and verified for Fox News by a senior Department of Defense representative, security officials believe the threats made could be linked to the killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani by American forces in January, though definitive links could not reportedly be made. The names of the Pentagon officials were not released, but they are believed to have been senior leadership involved in the operation that oversaw the takedown of Soleimani. Military leaders have also reportedly been targeted. FROM PANDEMIC TO POSTAL PROBLEMS, OVERSEAS VOTERS WORRY THEIR US PRESIDENTIAL BALLOTS WON'T GET COUNTED A person familiar with the threats told Fox News that U.S. concerns of Iran harming American officials, extends to civilian officials as well. U.S. military, intelligence...
    US Military, intelligence and law enforcement officials were briefed late last month regarding a threat against the Pentagon’s most senior leaders while on American soil, not just traveling overseas, a new report by NBC has revealed. Fiver senior US officials with direct knowledge of the matter made the shocking disclosure to the network on Thursday. The briefings of FBI, CIA and military officials were held after an incident on September 22, when a senior leader at the Defense Department was 'aggressively' tailed by an unknown vehicle for several miles after leaving the Pentagon.  The officials said the briefings suggested the threat, which is still active, could possibly be a retaliation for the US Military’s assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in January. Information shared at the briefings indicated the targets are those who were directly involved in the decision to assassinate Soleimani, the sources said. The officials were also reportedly...
    Washington (CNN)Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, flanked by several senior department officials, hyped the administration's efforts to construct hundreds of miles of wall along the US-Mexico border while lavishing praise on President Donald Trump less than a week before Election Day. Thursday's news conference in McAllen, Texas, is the latest in a string of media events in which Department of Homeland Security officials have touted the administration's immigration policies as successes and delivered veiled criticisms of the Biden campaign's proposals. RELATED: Trump vs. Biden on immigration: Here's how their stances compareJust last week, Wolf traveled to Arizona, where he also delivered a full-throated defense of Trump's immigration record. Standing alongside the concrete and bollard border wall in Texas, Wolf doubled down on those claims Thursday, echoing the President's border security message and citing the wall as critical to it. Read MoreElection 101"The many miles of border wall system exist...
    The Trump administration touted the completion of nearly 400 miles of border wall system along the U.S.-Mexico border in a ceremony staged days ahead of the presidential election. "Without the president's vision and dedication, we would not be here today to celebrate the construction of nearly 400 miles of new state-of-the-art border wall system," said acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf during the event, held in McAllen, Texas, on Thursday. The wall was a leading issue in the 2016 presidential election. President Trump vowed to put up 1,000 miles for $4 billion. At present, more than 800 miles have been funded for more than $15 billion, with half of it built. In bills dating back to fiscal 2018, the Trump administration secured funding, including several billion dollars taken from the Pentagon and Treasury, to erect more than 730 miles of barrier along the southwest border. To date, more than...
    With record numbers of Americans actively casting their ballots to decide who will assume the presidency of the United States and serve as their elected representatives in both of houses of Congress – and with domestic concerns from COVID-19 to the economy and social unrest dominating headlines – it is easy to lose sight of looming foreign policy challenges that await U.S. leaders in 2021. While Donald Trump or Joe Biden will face a range of global issues over the next four years, no security challenge is more urgent than the continued threat posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The five recommendations outlined below constitute a nonpartisan vision for sound policymaking on Iran in 2021 and beyond: 1. Prioritize the Iranian People, Not Their Leaders U.S. policy on Iran must prioritize the people of Iran and their relentless pursuit of freedom. For too long, U.S. officials treated the authoritarian...
    WASHINGTON – The White House is developing a plan to create a new biometric database that prospective immigrants or visitors would need to enter before they apply for visas to come to the U.S., according to draft plans reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and two government officials involved in the conversations. Under the change, visa applicants would need to submit their fingerprints and possibly other biometric information to be entered into a new database before they are permitted to submit applications online. Right now, visa applicants visit a U.S. consulate abroad after they file an application to do an interview and submit their fingerprints. FILE: The White House as seen on Monday afternoon, Oct. 5, 2020, in Washington. (AP) The plan has been the subject of discussion for several months at the White House’s National Security Council. On Oct. 14, officials directed the Department of Homeland Security to...
    With just seven days left until Election Day, Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, sat down with CBS News for an exclusive interview to discuss what Americans can expect and prepare for during and after November 3. Election security has been on the minds of many after top intelligence officials announced last week that Iran and Russia had taken actions to try to compromise the election and had obtained some voter registration data. They said spoof emails "designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest, and damage President Trump" were sent out as well as videos implying people could cast fraudulent ballots "even from overseas." In response, Wolf said the threat from Iran and Russia has been mitigated, but intelligence officials remain vigilant. Get Breaking News Delivered to Your Inbox "We understand what they're doing. We've called them out on that," Wolf said. "We remain on high...
    LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — As a record number of voters are casting their ballots early this year, local and federal officials say their top priorities are to ensure the safety of citizens and the security of the election. The announcement, which officials stress is being done only out of an abundance of caution, comes after top federal intelligence officials announced last week that Iran and Russia have taken actions to try to compromise the U.S. election and have obtained some voter registration data. Voters at the South Pasadena Community Center on Monday said they were motivated by fear above all else to vote early, following reports of unofficial ballots boxes and suspected arson to a ballot box. “I’ve just heard too many rumors about fraud and how things could go bad,” said voter Dan Hughley. It’s not just voters who are feeling the pressure of election time; officials say security...
    (CNN)Two of the Department of Homeland Security's immigration enforcement agencies are preparing for the possibility of more civil unrest amid a contentious election, according to officials, part of a concerted effort by federal and local authorities to prepare for large-scale protests. The Trump administration's deployment of federal officers to US cities came under scrutiny this summer and drew accusations of DHS becoming politicized as Trump administration officials claimed local politicians of not doing enough to control protests.Officials in cities such as Portland, Oregon, and Washington, DC, meanwhile, argued the increased federal presence was fueling protests, rather than de-escalating the situation. They, and protestors also criticized federal officers for not having clearly distinct badges, leading the US Attorney for the Oregon District to request an investigation. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is putting personnel on standby in the run up to next week's election, according to a senior ICE official, while...
    By RACHEL LA CORTE, Associated Press OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Elections officials in Washington on Monday touted security enhancements made over the years and the state’s long history of voting by mail as reasons voters should be confident heading into Election Day, but they encouraged the public to remain vigilant about misinformation efforts in light of recent warnings about attempted foreign interference and intimidation in other states. Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman said that that there have not been any breaches of the state’s election system and noted that their system is not connected to state systems the same way other state agencies are. Even so, while she said she couldn’t give specifics due to security protocols, she said that there are layers of backup plans up to and beyond election night. “There are constant threats and there are constant threat actors and we have spent the last 15...
    BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq said on Monday they had foiled a plan to attack foreign diplomats in their autonomous regional capital of Erbil, more than a year after the killing of a Turkish consular official there. In a statement, the Kurdistan regional government's top security agency said the attack was planned by people linked to the PKK Kurdish separatist group that has waged a decades-long insurgency in neighbouring Turkey. It said the attackers aimed to kill diplomats, but it did not say from which country. "The group was observed and then intercepted by the security forces in an operation lasting four months," it added. The PKK faces one of Turkey's fiercest military assaults for years against its bases in Iraqi territory. It is also the target of a security and reconstruction agreement between Erbil and Baghdad that aims to eject all PKK affiliates from the town...
    White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said Sunday that efforts by Russian hackers to interfere with the upcoming general election “can’t change votes.” O’Brien’s comments, which he made during an interview on CBS’s “Face The Nation,” come just days after U.S. officials said that Russian hackers have targeted the networks of dozens of state and local governments in the United States in recent days, stealing data from at least two servers. Despite the warning from U.S. intelligence officials about Russian interference, O’Brien tried to assure Americans that the hackers can’t change voters or make it harder to cast a ballot. CUBA, CHINA, RUSSIA ELECTED TO UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL; US BRANDS IT A 'MOCKERY' "No, they can't do either of those things,” he said. “And we got ahold of them early on because we've got great cyber folks, and we put a stop to it, but there's nothing they can...
    Cybersecurity officials watched with growing alarm in September as Russian state hackers started prowling around dozens of American state and local government computer systems just two months before the election.The act itself did not worry them so much — officials anticipated that the Russians who interfered in the 2016 election would be back — but the actor did. The group, known to researchers as "Dragonfly" or "Energetic Bear" for its hackings of the energy sector, was not involved in 2016 election hacking. But it has in the past five years breached the power grid, water treatment facilities and even nuclear power plants, including one in Kansas.It also hacked into Wi-Fi systems at San Francisco International Airport and at least two other West Coast airports in March in an apparent bid to find one unidentified traveler, a demonstration of the hackers power and resolve.Septembers intrusions marked the first time that researchers...
    The Associated Press WHAT STEPS HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO PROTECT THE NATION'S ELECTION SYSTEMS FROM POTENTIAL INTERFERENCE BY FOREIGN POWERS LIKE RUSSIA? HAVE VOTING SYSTEMS BEEN “HARDENED” IN ANY WAY? Federal, state and local officials prioritized securing voting systems after Russia interfered in the 2016 election, breaking down bureaucracy to improve communication of potential threats, conducting security reviews and installing network sentinels to detect known cyberthreats and suspicious activity. A key step was the January 2017 decision by the outgoing Obama administration to designate the election systems as “critical infrastructure” on par with nuclear reactors, banks and the electrical grid. The Department of Homeland Security and its cybersecurity agency have since worked to build relationships with election officials, giving top state election officials security clearances so they can quickly receive sensitive threat intelligence. After the 2016 interference, state election officials complained that they were not alerted until nearly a year...
    WHAT STEPS HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO PROTECT THE NATION'S ELECTION SYSTEMS FROM POTENTIAL INTERFERENCE BY FOREIGN POWERS LIKE RUSSIA? HAVE VOTING SYSTEMS BEEN “HARDENED” IN ANY WAY? Federal, state and local officials prioritized securing voting systems after Russia interfered in the 2016 election, breaking down bureaucracy to improve communication of potential threats, conducting security reviews and installing network sentinels to detect known cyberthreats and suspicious activity. A key step was the January 2017 decision by the outgoing Obama administration to designate the election systems as “critical infrastructure” on par with nuclear reactors, banks and the electrical grid. The Department of Homeland Security and its cybersecurity agency have since worked to build relationships with election officials, giving top state election officials security clearances so they can quickly receive sensitive threat intelligence. After the 2016 interference, state election officials complained that they were not alerted until nearly a year later that...
    WHAT STEPS HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO PROTECT THE NATION’S ELECTION SYSTEMS FROM POTENTIAL INTERFERENCE BY FOREIGN POWERS LIKE RUSSIA? HAVE VOTING SYSTEMS BEEN “HARDENED” IN ANY WAY? Federal, state and local officials prioritized securing voting systems after Russia interfered in the 2016 election, breaking down bureaucracy to improve communication of potential threats, conducting security reviews and installing network sentinels to detect known cyberthreats and suspicious activity. A key step was the January 2017 decision by the outgoing Obama administration to designate the election systems as “critical infrastructure” on par with nuclear reactors, banks and the electrical grid. The Department of Homeland Security and its cybersecurity agency have since worked to build relationships with election officials, giving top state election officials security clearances so they can quickly receive sensitive threat intelligence. After the 2016 interference, state election officials complained that they were not alerted until nearly a year later that...
    Russian hackers have recently targeted dozens of state and local governments and have stolen data from at least two servers, according to U.S. officials. A joint bulletin from the FBI and the Homeland Security Department was posted on Thursday and comes less than two weeks away from Election Day and months after an initial warning was released by intelligence officials regarding disinformation campaigns and election security risks coming from Russia, China, and Iran. The warning didn't mention any of the specific victims who were targeted, but officials said they don't have any knowledge of election or government operations being affected. "However, the actor may be seeking access to obtain future disruption options, to influence U.S. policies and actions, or to delegitimize (state and local) government entities," the advisory added. Chris Krebs, director of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said that the alert was issued to scan country...
    SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Bosnian prosecutors have charged the country’s secret service chief with abuse of power for allegedly using agency resources to spy on a man who filed a criminal complaint against him. The prosecutors’ office said in a statement Thursday that Intelligence Security Agency head Osman Mehmedagic, together with the agency’s Cyber Security director Muhamed Pekic, allegedly sought to obtain information and photographs concerning the man. The two officials were also charged with violating the right to privacy of postal communication, the statement added. It provided no details on the man allegedly placed under surveillance, or on the nature of his complaint against Mehmedagic. The prosecutors said that “the accused abused their position in multiple ways, as well as (through) legal proceedings and official acts.” The indictment must be confirmed by a Bosnian court before a trial could open. The prosecutors have demanded that...
    BOSTON (AP) — Russia and Iran have obtained U.S. voting registration information, the government’s national intelligence director said at a rare news conference Wednesday night. John Ratcliffe, the intelligence director, and FBI Director Chris Wray say the U.S. will impose costs on any foreign countries interfering in the 2020 U.S. election. _____ THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE Democratic voters in at least four battleground states including Florida and Pennsylvania received threatening emails, falsely purporting to be from the far-right group Proud Boys, that warned “we will come after you” if the recipients didn’t vote for President Donald Trump. The voter-intimidation operation apparently used email addresses obtained from state voter registration lists, which include party affiliation and home addresses and can include email addresses and phone numbers. Those addresses were then used in an apparently widespread targeted spamming operation. The senders claimed they would know which candidate the recipient was...
    A German national accused by counterintelligence officials in Germany of being part of a Russian influence operation traveled to the United States last year and met with a host of U.S. cybersecurity officials from the Department of Homeland Security and public utility companies as well as corporate executives from Amazon and Microsoft—all of whom were seemingly unaware of his controversial status back home. On Nov. 11, 2019, Hans-Wilhelm Dünn, president of the German Cyber-Security Council, a Berlin-based non-governmental association, visited the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C. He posted photos on Twitter showing him smiling beside Deputy Assistant Secretary Richard Driggers and a number of other DHS officials. Several days earlier, on his first night in the United States, Dünn dined with Michael Chertoff, former secretary of homeland security and now the CEO of the Chertoff Group, a security risk and management company. More pics followed, including one of...
    LINTHICUM A Maryland man was arrested at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) Sunday after he was caught with a loaded gun and knifes at the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint. The Gwynn Oak man allegedly had two knives and a .38 caliber revolver loaded with five bullets. Credit: TSA A TSA officer spotted the weapons in the man’s carry-on bag inside the X-ray machine. He was arrested on weapons charges. Ten guns have been found at BWI’s TSA checkpoints so far this year.
    You found your mail-in ballot between the pizza coupons and the power bill, researched the candidates and propositions, marked your choices and now you’re ready to send it off to be counted. But this year, with President Donald Trump and lawmakers in Washington freaking everybody out about possible fraud and trouble voting, even the most seasoned voters are worrying about what happens next. Is the mail really reliable? Can that drop-box in front of the library be trusted? How do election officials make sure my vote isn’t hacked by the Russians or that my shifty-looking neighbor doesn’t get to vote twice? Welcome to the Journey of a California Ballot. In the spirit of Schoolhouse Rock, the Bay Area News Group has produced a special election video that lets you tag along to see what happens to your vote. California’s election officials and post office insist they’re making the ballot’s...
    Two-and-a-half weeks before the election, top Trump administration officials in charge of immigration enforcement blasted Denver and other cities for their unwillingness to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "Sanctuary city policies shield violent criminals, criminal aliens, at the expense of American lives," Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said at an October 16 press conference announcing results of a recent ICE enforcement operation that targeted jurisdictions covered by field offices in Denver (which oversees Colorado and Wyoming), Philadelphia, New York, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. The operation had been telegraphed by the Washington Post, which reported on September 29 that the Trump administration was preparing an "immigration enforcement blitz" that would start in California and then expand to other places, including Denver. Related Stories GEO Group Coerced Aurora ICE Detainees Into Cleaning Common Areas Aurora Immigration Court Shuts Down Hearings After Major COVID Outbreak Colorado...
    The Trump administration's top envoy for Afghanistan said Thursday that the U.S. and the Taliban had "agreed to re-set actions by strictly adhering to" the terms of an agreement reached between the two sides earlier this year. The agreement was meant to reduce the level of violence in the almost-two-decade old war and sever the Taliban's links with other militant groups to enable the last 4,500 or so U.S. forces in the country to come home. But it hasn't been working. The Taliban, which agreed under the deal with the U.S. to reduce the violence that has left thousands of Afghans dead, including attacks on Afghan forces, has instead launched a new offensive in the southern Helmand province, driving thousands of civilians from their homes in the capital city of Lashkargah and surrounding districts. CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports that, in response, the U.S. military flew...
    BEIJING (AP) — China on Thursday said new U.S. sanctions on officials responsible for Hong Kong security are an attempt to undermine the city’s stability and threatened unspecified countermeasures. Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said China “firmly opposes and strongly condemns” the U.S. Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which requires the secretary of state to report to Congress on people seen to be impeding civil rights in the territory. Ten Chinese central government and Hong Kong officials were included in this year’s report, including Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Police Commissioner Chris Tang. The report “grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs,” further exposing Washington’s “sinister intentions to undermine Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability and contain China’s development,” Zhao said. “If the U.S. insists on going its own way, China will take resolute countermeasures to safeguard national sovereignty and security interests, and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies and...
    BEIJING (AP) — China on Thursday said new U.S. sanctions on officials responsible for Hong Kong security are an attempt to undermine the city’s stability and threatened unspecified countermeasures. Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said China “firmly opposes and strongly condemns” the U.S. Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which requires the secretary of state to report to Congress on people seen to be impeding civil rights in the territory. Ten Chinese central government and Hong Kong officials were included in this year’s report, including Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Police Commissioner Chris Tang. The report “grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs,” further exposing Washington’s “sinister intentions to undermine Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability and contain China’s development,” Zhao said. “If the U.S. insists on going its own way, China will take resolute countermeasures to safeguard national sovereignty and security interests, and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests...
    WASHINGTON - Officials across the United States already charged with securing the upcoming presidential election are taking additional precautions, bracing for the possibility that Nov. 3 and the days that follow could be marred not just by potential cyberattacks but by violence.   The boldest and, perhaps, starkest warnings are not coming from federal authorities but from state officials, some of whom say foreign disinformation campaigns could fuel a range of problems, from minor disturbances to something much more severe.   “Election result delays and recounts could result in protests and attempts to occupy election offices,” officials with the New Jersey Department of Homeland Security and Preparedness warned in a threat assessment issued in late September.   “Incidents of civil unrest resulting in riots, violent acts, and fatalities will converge with election uncertainty, producing confrontations between protesters and counter-demonstrators challenging election outcomes,” it noted.  Warning signs   Other state...
    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — For anxiety over voting and ballot counting in this year’s presidential election, it’s hard to top Pennsylvania. Election officials in Philadelphia, home to one-fifth of the state’s Democratic voters, have been sued by President Donald Trump’s campaign, blasted by the president as overseeing a place “where bad things happen” and forced to explain security measures after a theft from a warehouse full of election equipment. Add to that an investigation into military ballots that were mistakenly discarded in one swing county, partisan sniping in the state Capitol over the processing of what is expected to be an avalanche of mailed-in ballots and an 11th hour attempt by Republican lawmakers to create an election integrity commission. One of the most hotly contested presidential battleground states is trying to conduct a pandemic election in a hyper-partisan environment where every move related to the voting process faces unrelenting scrutiny...
    (Bloomberg Opinion) — The past couple years have been tough for both believers and non-believers in Russiagate. First the investigation into Russian influence over President Donald Trump’s campaign fizzled out. Now one aspect of the investigation of the investigation seems to be, too. What was hyped in 2017 as the greatest scandal in U.S. history ended in mid-2019 after Special Counsel Robert Mueller said he could not find evidence of a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. That investigation itself is still being investigated by the Justice Department, with the president and his supporters promising the greatest scandal in U.S. history. On Tuesday, citing unnamed sources, the Washington Post reported that one part of this investigation did not turn up “substantive wrongdoing.” This investigation, conducted by departing U.S. Attorney John Bash, examined requests made by outgoing officials in President Barack Obama’s administration to reveal the names of U.S. persons...
    New York (CNN Business)It was a conspiracy that Fox News portrayed as one of the greatest — if not the greatest — political scandals in American history.Tucker Carlson called it a "domestic spying operation" that was "hidden under the pretext of national security." Laura Ingraham characterized top Obama administration officials as having been "exposed." And Sean Hannity flatly declared it to be the "biggest abuse of power, corruption scandal" the country had ever seen.Trump and right-wing media distract from bad virus news with alternate realityThat was back in May. This week, however, the conspiracy theory collapsed when The Washington Post reported that a Justice Department investigation into the supposed scandal quietly ended with no charges.The narrative pushed by Fox News was centered on the routine intelligence practice of "unmasking." A document declassified in May by then-acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, who has been criticized by Democrats and career...
    By MARC LEVY and CHRISTINA A. CASSIDY, Associated Press HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — For anxiety over voting and ballot counting in this year’s presidential election, it’s hard to top Pennsylvania. Election officials in Philadelphia, home to one-fifth of the state's Democratic voters, have been sued by President Donald Trump’s campaign, blasted by the president as overseeing a place “where bad things happen” and forced to explain security measures after a theft from a warehouse full of election equipment. Add to that an investigation into military ballots that were mistakenly discarded in one swing county, partisan sniping in the state Capitol over the processing of what is expected to be an avalanche of mailed-in ballots and an 11th hour attempt by Republican lawmakers to create an election integrity commission. One of the most hotly contested presidential battleground states is trying to conduct a pandemic election in a hyper-partisan environment where every...
    The U.S. and British governments are in talks to restart air travel between New York City and London with less harsh quarantine mandates for travelers ahead of the holiday season, according to a new report. The Departments of Homeland Security and Transportation are leading U.S. efforts to reinstate travel between the two major cities and are doing so now, seven months after travel restrictions went into place, because of the increasing availability and speed of processing coronavirus tests, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. Under the plan that officials in both countries are considering, travelers would have to be tested prior to leaving one country and again after arriving overseas. The double check would allow them to skip the present 14-day quarantine mandate, but parties involved are divided over whether people should be forced to stay in their hotels or homes for some length of period afterward. U.S. government officials...
    Microsoft and U.S. Cyber Command separately disrupted a massive Russian cybercrime-linked TrickBot ransomware computer network just weeks ahead of the 2020 presidential election amid concerns that foreign actors are seeking to meddle in the U.S. democratic process. “Today we took action to disrupt a botnet called Trickbot, one of the world’s most infamous botnets and prolific distributors of ransomware. As the United States government and independent experts have warned, ransomware is one of the largest threats to the upcoming elections. Adversaries can use ransomware to infect a computer system used to maintain voter rolls or report on election-night results, seizing those systems at a prescribed hour optimized to sow chaos and distrust,” Microsoft corporate Vice President Tom Burt said in a Monday blog post. “In addition to protecting election infrastructure from ransomware attacks, today’s action will protect a wide range of organizations including financial services institutions, government agencies, healthcare...
    US officials reportedly want to open a special 'travel corridor' between New York and London now fast coronavirus tests are becoming more readily available. It's hoped the quarantine-cutting plan could be in place in time for the annual transatlantic shopping rush in the run up to Christmas, claims a new report. 4Under the proposal people will be tested before flying and on arrivalCredit: AFP or licensors The Wall Street Journal says an increase in access to rapid Covid-19 tests has sparked renewed interest in the move. In August it was first revealed the ambitious proposal was in the "early stages" of discussion. Under the plan, those travelling between the two cities would have to undergo mandatory tests prior to flying and then also on arrival. This will enable them to skip the current lengthy quarantine periods, it's claimed. At the moment, Americans must hide away for 14 days when traveling to the UK.    While...
    (Reuters) - Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov sacked security council secretary Damir Sagynbayev and his deputy Omurbek Suvanaliyev, the president's office said on Saturday, after declaring a state of emergency amid unrest. Jeenbekov named Zhanybek Kaparov new deputy secretary of the council which coordinates the work of all security forces. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov, Editing by William Maclean) Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.
    By SOPHIA EPPOLITO, Associated Press/Report for America SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said Tuesday the United States will not tolerate any election interference from foreign countries. O'Brien said he told his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, to “stay out” of the November election and that there would be severe consequences for any country that violates that directive. O’Brien spoke to reporters after delivering remarks at a national security summit in Salt Lake City. “The Russians said that they had no plans to do anything of that nature,” O’Brien said. O’Brien said Russia was hit with sanctions following its interference in the 2016 election that he hopes will be a deterrent to other countries. However, there has already been evidence of interference by Russia, China and Iran, O’Brien said, as well as other countries that he declined to name. “Free and fair elections are the...
    White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said Tuesday the United States will not tolerate any election interference from foreign countries. OBrien said he told his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, to “stay out” of the November election and that there would be severe consequences for any country that violates that directive. O’Brien spoke to reporters after delivering remarks at a national security summit in Salt Lake City. “The Russians said that they had no plans to do anything of that nature,” O’Brien said. O’Brien said Russia was hit with sanctions following its interference in the 2016 election that he hopes will be a deterrent to other countries. However, there has already been evidence of interference by Russia, China and Iran, O’Brien said, as well as other countries that he declined to name. “Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of a democracy, and we’re not gonna tolerate any foreign adversary...
    By Eric Tucker | Associated Press WASHINGTON — Four weeks ahead of Election Day, senior national security officials provided fresh assurances about the integrity of the elections in a video message Tuesday, putting them at odds with President Donald Trump’s efforts to discredit the vote. “I’m here to tell you that my confidence in the security of your vote has never been higher,” Chris Krebs, the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said in the video message. “That’s because of an all-of-nation, unprecedented election security effort over the last several years.” The video appeared to be aimed at soothing jangled nerves of voters ahead of an election made unique by an expected surge in mail-in ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic. Though Trump was not mentioned during the nine-minute video, the message from the speakers served as a tacit counter to his repeated efforts,...
    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said Tuesday the United States will not tolerate any election interference from foreign countries. O’Brien said he told his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, to “stay out” of the November election and that there would be severe consequences for any country that violates that directive. O’Brien spoke to reporters after delivering remarks at a national security summit in Salt Lake City. “The Russians said that they had no plans to do anything of that nature,” O’Brien said. O’Brien said Russia was hit with sanctions following its interference in the 2016 election that he hopes will be a deterrent to other countries. However, there has already been evidence of interference by Russia, China and Iran, O’Brien said, as well as other countries that he declined to name. “Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of a democracy, and...
    MADRAS, Ore. (AP) — A high ranking prison official at the Deer Ridge Correctional Institution in Madras has been placed on leave amid a personnel investigation, the Department of Corrections confirmed Monday. Assistant Superintendent of Security Jason Jorgensen is now on “duty stationed at home” with pay, a Corrections spokeswoman told Oregon Public Broadcasting. The circumstances surrounding the investigation date back to last month, when Oregon evacuated four prisons and thousands of inmates during wildfires that ravaged the state. On Sept. 10, men in the medium security portion of the Deer Ridge prison were moved to the minimum security section of the prison to make room for over 1,000 inmates, mostly women, from Coffee Creek Correctional Institution who evacuated from the Santiam and Riverside fires. The men at Deer Ridge protested and on Sept. 11, some 200 inmates refused to move from the yard to their new cells in the...
    WASHINGTON - Top U.S. intelligence and security officials say the country's adversaries are intensifying their efforts to meddle with the country’s upcoming presidential election, indicating the threat may be changing with less than a month until voters go to the polls.  The dangers, outlined in a video shared on social media by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Tuesday, are twofold – influence operations designed to change the way voters think as they fill out their ballots, and heightened attacks on U.S. election infrastructure, something that officials have tried to downplay until now.  “There is no doubt adversaries are trying to undermine our democracy and democratic values as we approach our elections,” said William Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC).  NEW #Election2020 security message from @FBI Dir Christopher Wray, @CYBERCOM_DIRNSA Gen. Nakasone, @CISAKrebs and @ODNIgov Nat'l Counterintelligence & Security Center Dir William Evanina -...
    DHAKA,Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladesh’s police recovered said at least four people died after members of two factions of criminals attacked each other in a sprawling camp for Rohingya refugees late Tuesday, officials said. Another 20 refugees were injured as the two groups opened fire, used locally made guns and sharp weapons at Kutupalong in Ukhiya in Cox’s Bazar district, said Rafiqul Islam, an additional police superintendent. Security was heightened in the camps in the district where more than 700,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar have been sheltered by the government, he said. The official said at least seven Rohingya refugees, including those who died Tuesday, had been killed in clashes to establish dominance in the area over last few days. Bangladesh authorities and intelligence officials have long been saying that many of the refugees are involved in illicit drug trade, smuggling, robbery and ransom-seeking. Earlier Tuesday, the elite...
    By ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Four weeks ahead of Election Day, senior national security officials provided fresh assurances about the integrity of the elections in a video message Tuesday, putting them at odds with President Donald Trump’s efforts to discredit the vote. “I'm here to tell you that my confidence in the security of your vote has never been higher,” Chris Krebs, the director of the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency, said in the video message. “That's because of an all-of-nation, unprecedented election security effort over the last several years." The video appeared to be aimed at soothing jangled nerves of voters ahead of an election made unique by an expected surge in mail-in ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic. Though Trump was not mentioned during the nine-minute video, the message from the speakers served as a tacit counter to his repeated efforts, including...
    A former top White House security official who was fired after testifying in President Donald Trump's impeachment case raised alarm Monday that the White House is unprepared if the president's symptoms of the coronavirus worsen. [ READ: Doctors Say Trump Case of COVID-19 Likely Severe ]"What we're seeing here is the risk of having a hyper-personalized presidency," Fiona Hill, the former chief adviser to Trump on Russia and Eurasia issues, said at an event Monday morning organized by the Brookings Institution, where she is now a senior fellow. "We're in a very unusual time when President Trump has very vocally, publicly and frequently stressed that he is the only person that matters in the system." Cartoons on the 2020 ElectionView All 260 ImagesNational and global concerns about the vitality of the leader of the free world have spiked in recent days after officials at the White House and Walter Reed National Military...
    Donald Trump had a national security briefing over the phone on Sunday and sounded 'fine' as he spoke from his Walter Reed hospital suite, officials say. The president was told that foreign nations are monitoring his health closely but have yet to make any aggressive moves to take advantage of his sickness, according to Fox News.  Officials on the call said there was nothing unusual about Trump's demeanor or mental state as he spoke by video on a secure line.  The Walter Reed suite is equipped to allow the president to continue his official duties while he receives treatment for coronavirus, although doctors have floated the possibility of Trump returning to the White House as early as today.  Donald Trump held a briefing from the Walter Reed hospital (where he is pictured on Sunday) in which officials updated him on national security while he battles the coronavirus  Vice President...
    (CNN)As I write this, the President of the United States is hospitalized with Covid-19, an illness that has killed more than 209,000 people in our country during a once-in-a-century pandemic. All Americans should pray for his swift recovery. Miles TaylorThis never should have happened.The fact is that by downplaying a public health crisis for many months, President Donald Trump and his aides have created a national security crisis.Why? By putting himself in harm's way, the President has destabilized the executive branch — and the country — just weeks ahead of the most important election in modern times.If the President and his team had followed the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we likely wouldn't be talking about the White House as the potential epicenter of a "superspreader" event.Read MoreNow we are learning that more people, including the first lady, senior officials, members of Congress, and other influential...
    Washington (CNN)Military leaders moved quickly to reassure the American public Friday that it was business as usual at the Pentagon despite President Donald Trump's announcement that he tested positive for coronavirus, making it clear in the hours that followed there was no indication of an immediate threat to the US homeland from a foreign adversary.In a statement issued Friday morning, the Pentagon sought to alleviate fears that Trump's positive Covid-19 diagnosis presented a potentially imminent threat to national security, emphasizing that the development did not warrant a change in defense alert levels or military posture."There's no change to the readiness or capability of our armed forces. Our national command and control structure is in no way affected by this announcement," Jonathan Hoffman, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs said. "The US military stands ready to defend our country and interests," he added.But while defense officials attempted to...
    Loading the player... President Trump has sparked outrage for showing sympathy for Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old charged with fatally shooting two protesters with an AR-15 rifle in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Now it’s being reported that Trump officials were also directed to put a positive spin on the alleged crimes of the anti-BLM gunman as well. READ MORE: Michelle Obama wants to ‘get out of this chaos’ after Trump-Biden debate According to internal Department of Homeland Security talking points obtained by NBC News, the president’s team sent documents to federal law enforcement officials urging them to be favorable and complimentary when commenting publicly about Rittenhouse. This paper trail also outlines how Homeland Security officials were told to note that the young man “took his rifle to the scene of the rioting to help defend small business owners,” when speaking to the media. While it remains unclear whether any of these...
    More than 120 former GOP national security officials endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday, joining a cadre of Republican groups to oppose the reelection of President Trump. The group, called Former Republican National Security Officials for Biden, launched in August with 70 members backing the former vice president. It announced Wednesday that an additional 56 people joined the group, bringing its total membership to 129. New officials to join the group include Greg Brower, a former FBI assistant director; Larry Pfeiffer, a former CIA chief of staff; and Olivia Troye, a former special adviser to Vice President Mike Pence. Others worked as senior national security officials in the Republican administrations of former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. POMPEO: TRUMP FOREIGN POLICY HAS MADE AMERICANS LIVES 'SAFER,' MORE 'SECURE' On Thursday, the group began running full-page newspaper ads in seven battleground states that will play a pivotal role in...
    Reuters October 1, 2020 0 Comments More than 50 Republican former national security officials will endorse Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Thursday, joining one of several Republican organizations opposing the re-election of President Donald Trump. The group, called Former Republican National Security Officials for Biden, launched in August with 70 members. The new endorsements will bring it to nearly 130 individuals who have publicly broken with the Republican president, including seven who served under Trump, people familiar with the effort said. Others worked as senior defense and security officials in the administrations of Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Retired Army General Stanley McChrystal, the former commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, also endorsed Biden on Thursday during an interview with MSNBC. McChrystal, who resigned in 2010 after a Rolling Stone article quoted him making unflattering remarks about Biden and other civilian officials,...
    Federal law enforcement officials were told to publicly make sympathetic comments about Kyle Rittenhouse — the 17-year-old charged with the shooting deaths of two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, according to an internal Department of Homeland Security document. The document, obtained by NBC News, was aimed at preparing Homeland Security officials for questions from the media. The document suggests officials note Rittenhouse "took his rifle to the scene of the rioting to help defend small business owners." Another document distributed to Homeland Security officials said news outlets were incorrectly saying the group Patriot Prayer were racists after clashes between the group and protesters in Portland, Oregon, according to the network news. And three former Homeland Security officials said it was unusual for law enforcement officials to be directed to comment on a case involving a particular group or individual before investigations were completed "It is as unprecedented as it is wrong,"...
    More than 50 additional former GOP national security officials have officially endorsed Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenPrivacy, civil rights groups demand transparency from Amazon on election data breaches Facebook takes down Trump campaign ads tying refugees to coronavirus Trump crowd chants 'lock her up' about Omar as president warns of refugees in Minnesota MORE for president. The group, called Former Republican National Security Officials for Biden, first endorsed Biden in August with 70 members backing the Democrat. On Wednesday an additional 56 people joined the group, bringing their total membership to about 130 individuals. Those officials join several other GOP groups and political figures who have thrown their support behind Biden. Separately, a bipartisan group of 489 former national security officials also endorsed Biden last week. The new group of former officials throwing their support for Biden reportedly include: Greg Brower, a former FBI assistant director; Larry Pfeiffer, a former...
    The writing’s on the wall in the Hermit Kingdom. North Korean officials are going house to house to find a vandal who scrawled anti-government graffiti on a public wall — forcing residents to undergo a handwriting test to prove their innocence, according to a report. The aggressive hunt was sparked after the slogan “Down with party officials, who live well by exploiting the people” was scrawled on a fence around Unsan county marketplace, north of the capital Pyongyang. “The local security department is in an uproar,” a resident of South Pyongan told Radio Free Asia (RFA). Because the graffiti comes close to the 75th anniversary of the Oct. 10 founding of the ruling Korean Workers’ Party, officials believe it is an “attempt to overthrow party officials,” the local said. It is being treated as an “anti-government act that directly criticizes the party’s central leadership, including the Highest Dignity,” the source...
    By Tim Reid LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - More than 50 Republican former national security officials will endorse Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Thursday, joining one of several Republican organizations opposing the re-election of President Donald Trump. The group, called Former Republican National Security Officials for Biden, launched in August with 70 members. The new endorsements will bring it to nearly 130 individuals who have publicly broken with the Republican president, including seven who served under Trump, people familiar with the effort said. Others worked as senior defense and security officials in the administrations of Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. The 56 new people endorsing Biden include Greg Brower, a former FBI assistant director; Larry Pfeiffer, a former CIA chief of staff; and Alden Munson, former deputy director of National Intelligence. The group will start running full-page newspaper ads on Thursday in seven competitive...
    A group of 70 senior government officials who worked with various Republican administrations dating back to Richard Nixon endorsed President Trump for re-election on Monday, citing his accomplishments on foreign policy and national security. In an open letter, 70 former officials, including governors, senators, national security advisers, military generals and ambassadors from the Trump, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Reagan, Nixon and Ford administrations, lauded the president for pursuing a "strong foreign and national security policy in America's interests." POMPEO: TRUMP FOREIGN POLICY HAS MADE AMERICANS LIVES 'SAFER,' MORE 'SECURE' "We also believe that a president’s duty and loyalty are owed, first and foremost, to the American people, and not the international community, which is consistent with strengthening our alliances and friendships," the letter said. "For all of these reasons, we have concluded, that Donald J. Trump should be re-elected as President of the United States." The initiative was spearheaded by KT...
    BAGHDAD (AP) — The Trump administration has warned Iraq that it will close its embassy in Baghdad if the government does not take swift and decisive action to end persistent rocket and other attacks by Iranian-backed militias and rogue armed elements on American and allied interests in the country, U.S., Iraqi and other officials said Monday. The warning came as Iraqi security officials said a Katyusha rocket hit near Baghdad airport, killing three Iraqi civilians and severely wounding two others. A U.S. official said the administration’s warning was clear and given to both Iraq’s president and prime minister but that it was not an imminent ultimatum. There should be “no confusion” among Iraqi leaders about how seriously the U.S. takes the threat to its personnel and property, according to the official, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. The warning signals the...
    BAGHDAD (AP) — Three Iraqi civilians were killed and two severely wounded after a katyusha rocket hit near the vicinity of Baghdad airport, two Iraqi security officials said Monday. The rocket targeted the international airport but struck a residential home close by, two security officials said. They requested anonymity in line with regulations. The attack is the latest in a spate of rocket and mortar attacks to target the American presence in Iraq, including the U.S. embassy in the heavily fortified Green Zone. Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi security officials say 3 civilians killed, 2 seriously wounded in rocket attack outside Baghdad airport. Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    By Colin Packham SYDNEY (Reuters) - The Australian state of Victoria, a hotspot in the country's COVID-19 outbreak, said on Saturday social distancing restrictions will be eased earlier than previously announced as daily new infections held near three-month lows. Victoria said 12 COVID-19 infections have been detected over the past 24 hours, near a three-month low of 11 recorded on Sept. 21. With case numbers well below the thresholds defined in the government's phased removal of restrictions, state Premier Daniel Andrews said he will on Sunday update the schedule for easing curbs. "We have had a very good day and I will back before you tomorrow to make some substantial announcements," Andrews told reporters in Melbourne. Andrews did not specify which restrictions could be relaxed, but said it would centre on curbs scheduled to be removed in late October. Melbourne - Australia's second-largest city - has been under a strict...
    Lawyers for former national security adviser John Bolton told a judge Thursday they want to interview White House officials following new allegations that a pre-publication review of his tell-all book was politicized in an effort to block its release. Michael Kirk, a lawyer for Bolton, said the interviews were needed to help establish whether President Donald Trumps political appointees at the White House acted in “bad faith” when overruling the judgment of a career classification official and concluding that Boltons manuscript still contained classified information. A lawsuit over Boltons book, including on the question of whether the Justice Department is entitled to proceeds from the publication, is still pending even though a judge in June denied a request for an injunction to block its release. Arguments in the Justice Departments lawsuit against Bolton over his book, “The Room Where it Happened,” took place one day after a new court filing...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawyers for former national security adviser John Bolton told a judge Thursday they want to interview White House officials following new allegations that a pre-publication review of his tell-all book was politicized in an effort to block its release. Michael Kirk, a lawyer for Bolton, said the interviews were needed to help establish whether President Donald Trump’s political appointees at the White House acted in “bad faith” when overruling the judgment of a career classification official and concluding that Bolton’s manuscript still contained classified information. A lawsuit over Bolton’s book, including whether the Justice Department is entitled to profits, is still pending even though a judge months ago refused to block the release. Arguments in the Justice Department’s lawsuit against Bolton over his book, “The Room Where it Happened,” took place after a new court filing from a lawyer for Ellen Knight, the White House official...
    By Christopher Bing (Reuters) - U.S. security agencies say they are not aware of any cyber threats that could change vote tallies or "manipulate votes at scale" in the Nov. 3 presidential election, according to a public service announcement released on Thursday. "The FBI and CISA have not identified any incidents, to date, capable of preventing Americans from voting or changing vote tallies for the 2020 Elections," the announcement said. CISA, known as the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency, is a division of the Homeland Security Department focused on digital security issues. The statement mirrors past comments from top U.S. security officials, who have said a mass hack to alter voting results would be nearly impossible because of the United States' decentralized voting system and the availability of fail-safes, such as provisional ballots. Over the last two years, since the 2018 U.S. midterm election, senior U.S. intelligence officials have openly predicted...
    'Thanks to his disdainful attitude and his failures, our allies no longer trust or respect us, and our enemies no longer fear us.' Almost 500 national security experts — including 22 four-star military officers — slammed Donald Trump in a public letter released Thursday, calling him unfit for his role as commander in chief and endorsing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. The letter, simply addressed "To Our Fellow Citizens," is a bipartisan effort signed by prominent Republicans and Democrats alike who say they "fear" for their country under Trump. Signatories include former Navy Secretary and NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe, who served in both Bush administrations, and former Defense Secretaries Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, and Ash Carter. Former State Department Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage, a Republican who served under George W. Bush, as well as Democrats former Secretary of State Madeleine...
    Joe Biden “is the leader our nation needs,” according to 489 retired generals, admirals, senior noncommissioned officers, ambassadors, and senior civilian national security officials. “We love our country,” the group, which included Republicans and independents as well as Democrats, wrote in an open letter. “Unfortunately, we also fear for it.” Nowhere does the letter mention Donald Trump by name, though throughout it cites Biden’s good qualities in ways obviously distinguishing him from Trump: empathy, honesty, “experience and wisdom,” personal responsibility, “sound judgment, thorough understanding, and fundamental values.” Biden’s good qualities overwhelm policy differences, the 489 former officials write. “While some of us may have different opinions on particular policy matters, we trust Joe Biden’s positions are rooted in sound judgment, thorough understanding, and fundamental values.” In the final paragraphs, the letter turns to the “current President,” who, it says, “has demonstrated he is not equal to the enormous responsibilities of his office;...
    Washington — Nearly 500 retired military leaders, Cabinet secretaries and former national security officials have come out in support of Joe Biden, casting him as the presidential candidate who has the skills needed to "address a world on fire." In an open letter released by the group National Security Leaders for Biden on Thursday, the national security officials and retired military leaders praised Biden as the "leader our nation needs" for his empathy, honesty and integrity, and wrote his "positions are rooted in sound and judgement, thorough understanding, and fundamental values." "Joe Biden has the character, principles, wisdom, and leadership necessary to address a world on fire," the letter states. "That is why Joe Biden must be the next President of the United States; why we vigorously support his election; and why we urge our fellow citizens to do the same." Get Breaking News Delivered to Your Inbox Signatories...
    Washington (CNN)A former senior military adviser to President Donald Trump has endorsed Joe Biden for president. Retired Gen. Paul Selva, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is one of nearly 500 national security experts and former officials who signed a letter in support of Biden over Trump in an open letter to America.Visit CNN's Election Center for full coverage of the 2020 raceSelva was re-nominated to the Joint Chiefs by Trump in 2017 after being first appointed by President Barack Obama in 2015. As vice chairman, he was deeply involved in the nation's nuclear weapons program, and his endorsement is especially notable because recently retired officers generally stay out of politics."Thanks to his disdainful attitude and his failures, our allies no longer trust or respect us, and our enemies no longer fear us. Climate change continues unabated, as does North Korea's nuclear program. The president has ceded...
    A bipartisan group of 489 former national security officials have endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden on Trump's refusal to commit to peaceful transfer of power: 'What country are we in?' Democratic groups using Bloomberg money to launch M in Spanish language ads in Florida Harris faces pivotal moment with Supreme Court battle MORE. The group, National Security Leaders for Biden, said that President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden on Trump's refusal to commit to peaceful transfer of power: 'What country are we in?' Romney: 'Unthinkable and unacceptable' to not commit to peaceful transition of power Two Louisville police officers shot amid Breonna Taylor grand jury protests MORE “has demonstrated he is not equal to the enormous responsibilities of his office” and “cannot rise to meet challenges large or small.” “Thanks to his disdainful attitude and his failures, our allies no longer trust or respect us, and our enemies no longer...