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Intelligence and law enforcement leaders before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

The leaders of America's intelligence community warned Tuesday that the threat of foreign offensives on social media had not abated:

“We expect Russia to continue using propaganda, social media, false flag personas, sympathetic spokesmen and other means … to try to build on its wide range of operations and exacerbate social and political fissures in the United States."
— Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing

Why it matters: "There should be no doubt that Russia perceived that its past efforts [were] successful and views the 2018 U.S. midterm elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations," Coats said. "Frankly, the United States is under attack."

Note: Both CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have also previously said they expect Russia to try to interfere in the midterm elections.

The details:

  • Coats said that the threat of foreign governments using social media tactics wasn't the purview of just one agency. "There’s no single agency, quote, in charge," he said.
  • Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr noted broadly that the committee and the intelligence community has had immense difficulty in communicating with tech companies about "a way forward that is in commonality."
  • Burr asked NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers whether he was worried that dynamic would get more fraught: "Yes I am, because quite frankly I wonder so how bad does this have to get before we realize we have to do some things fundamentally differently," Rogers replied.

Go deeper

Updated 6 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Bill Clinton hospitalized for non-COVID-related infection

Former President Bill Clinton. Photo: Win McNamee/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Bill Clinton was admitted to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center on Tuesday for a non-COVID-related infection, his spokesperson Angel Ureña said Thursday.

The latest: In an update on Friday, Ureña said Clinton's health indicators are "trending in the right direction, including his white blood count which has decreased significantly."

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
5 hours ago - Health

FDA panel endorses shot of J&J booster for adults

Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Members of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine expert panel on Friday unanimously endorsed a booster shot for adult recipients of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine at least two months after the initial dose.

Why it matters: The advisory committee raised concerns about a dearth of data to support their decision but ultimately decided to support an additional shot for those over 18.

Capitol Police officer indicted for obstructing Jan. 6 investigation

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Brent Stirton/Getty Images

A U.S. Capitol Police officer has been indicted on obstruction of justice charges for allegedly helping hide evidence of a participant's involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.

Driving the news: Officer Michael A. Riley, 50, is accused of telling the unidentified participant, referred to as "Person 1," in the Jan. 6 riot to delete posts from Facebook, which showed them in the Capitol during the attack.

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