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J. Scott Applewhite / AP

During a hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee this morning, officials from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security discussed the scope of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and how the federal government is preparing for potential future cyberattacks.

The big thing: Jeanette Manfra, the Acting Deputy Undersecretary for Cybersecurity and Communications at DHS, confirmed that election-related systems in 21 states were targeted in the lead-up to the 2016 election, but reiterated that no vote tallies were altered.

Related: Manfra refused to name those 21 states, but said that the "system owners" had been made aware of the targeting. She also said that some states had data exfiltrated by Russian hackers but refused to provide details regarding the nature or scope of the exfiltrated election data.

Other things to note:

  • It'll happen again: Bill Priestap, the Assistant Director of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division, said that he believes the Russians will continue their hacking efforts.
  • 2016 was different: Priestap noted that, while Russia had tried to influence U.S. elections since the Cold War, "the scale and aggressiveness" of the 2016 effort was different.
  • Russia's three goals: According to Priestap, Russia hoped to: (1) sow discord, (2) delegitimize the United States' free and fair election process, and (3) denigrate Secretary Clinton and attempt to help now-President Trump.
  • Was it a success? Priestap said that the Russians might mark the current distractions in U.S. government as a success, but noted that the level of public awareness now surrounding their usual tactics might reduce their effectiveness in future elections.
  • Trump: All of the DHS and FBI officials said that President Trump had not ordered or requested the ongoing investigation of Russian hacking.
  • Kaspersky: All of the DHS and FBI officials refused to comment on whether U.S. agencies should use the Russian-linked cybersecurity company.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper

CDC looks at tougher testing rules for international travelers

Travelers with their luggage arrive at a COVID-19 testing location at the airport in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 23, 2021. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday night that it is working to impose stricter testing requirements for international travelers due to the spread of the new Omicron variant.

The big picture: The new rules would require all international travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to show a negative test taken a day before their flight to the U.S. Currently, the CDC says fully vaccinated travelers are allowed to show a test taken no more than three days before their departure, AP reports.

Republicans threaten to shut down government over vaccine mandates

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in the Capitol in November 2020. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Conservative Republicans in the House and Senate are planning to force a government shutdown Friday to deny funding needed to enforce the Biden administration's vaccine mandates on the private sector, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Congress has until the end of the week to pass a stopgap measure to extend funding into 2022, though objection from a small group of Republicans could shut down the government.

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.