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US President Barack Obama orders Full Review of 2016 Election Cyber Attacks

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President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the Brady press briefing room at the White House in Washington, Nov. 14, 2016. VOA

December 10, 2016: US President Barack Obama ordered a review of all cyber-attacks that took place during the 2016 election period, the White House said on Saturday because of the growing concerns over Russian interference.

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White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz said, “Obama called for the review earlier this week, amid growing calls from Congress for more information on the extent of Russian interference in the campaign.”

White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz said, “Obama called for the review earlier this week, amid growing calls from Congress for more information on the extent of Russian interference in the campaign.”

According to PTI, Schultz said, “We are committed to ensuring the integrity of our elections and this report will dig into this pattern of malicious cyberactivity timed to our elections, take stock of our defensive capabilities and capture lessons learned to make sure that we brief members of Congress and stakeholders as appropriate.”

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According to PTI, Schultz said, “We are committed to ensuring the integrity of our elections and this report will dig into this pattern of malicious cyberactivity timed to our elections, take stock of our defensive capabilities and capture lessons learned to make sure that we brief members of Congress and stakeholders as appropriate.”

Schultz said, “Obama wants the report completed before his term ends on January 20.”
“We are going to make public as much as we can,” he added. “This is a major priority for the president.”

The step is taken after Democrats in Congress pressed the White House to reveal the details to Congress or to public of Russian hacking and also disinformation in the election.
Not only that, US President-elect Donald Trump rejected the intelligence community finding of official Russian involvement.

According to PTI, “Confidential emails from the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, a top advisor to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, were steadily leaked out via WikiLeaks in the months before the election, damaging Clinton’s White House effort.”
One month before the election, on October 7, the Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence announced, “The Russian Government directed the recent compromises of emails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations.”

They said, “These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process.”

In a recent interview with Time magazine, for its “Person of the Year” award, Donald Trump rejected those findings. And when asked if the intelligence was politicized, Trump replied, “I think so.”

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“I don’t believe they interfered,” he said. “It could be Russia. And it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.”

by NewsGram team with PTI inputs

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White House in Support of Trump’s National Emergency Declaration

Trump said he declared the national emergency because he was unhappy with the amount of money Congress authorized.

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President Donald Trump speaks at the White House in Washington, to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the southern border, Feb. 15, 2019. VOA

The White House is defending President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border as multiple states prepare to file legal challenges and Democrats in Congress plan to vote their disapproval.

“He could choose to ignore this crisis, but he chose not to,” Trump adviser Stephen Miller, an immigration hardliner, told Fox News Sunday.

Miller assailed former Republican President George W. Bush for what he called an “astonishing betrayal” of the U.S. nearly two decades ago when four times as many immigrants were illegally entering the United States as now. But Miller said the “bottom line” is that “you cannot conceive of a strong nation without a secure border.”

He said Trump’s action is “defending our own borders.” He illegal immigration “is a threat in our country.”

Miller said Trump’s actions were justified under a 1976 law giving presidents authority to declare national emergencies, although none of the 59 declared since then has involved instances when a president has attempted to override congressional refusal to approve funding for a specific proposal.

Trump declared the national emergency on Friday to circumvent Congress, which had refused his request for $5.7 billion in wall funding, even as it approved $1.375 billion for barriers along about 90 kilometers of the 3,200-kilometer border. Trump plans to tap more than $8 billion in government funds authorized for other projects the build the wall, although lawsuits challenging the action are already being filed to block his transfer of money.

US, Donald Trump, National Emergency, White house
Border Patrol agent Vincent Pirro looks on near a border wall that separates the cities of Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego, Feb. 5, 2019, in San Diego. VOA

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra told ABC’s This Week that his state and others would “definitely and imminently” file a legal challenge, arguing that people all over the United States would be harmed by Trump’s move because the diverted money would not be spent on needed services.

“Typically our presidents have focused on issues where the national interests are clearly at stake,” Becerra said about previous national emergency declarations. “The national interests are not at stake here. We have the lowest level of entries into the country by those who don’t have permission than we’ve had in some 20 years.”

Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said he thinks he has “a lot of discretion” in deciding which funds previously allocated for defense needs can instead be used to build a border wall. “You can trust the numbers in terms of the potential. Then you gotta marry it up with where the money would be spent.” But he said money designated for military housing would not be spent on the wall.

Trump said he declared the national emergency because he was unhappy with the amount of money Congress authorized.

“I want to do it faster,” he said. “I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this. But I’d rather do it much faster.”

Trump’s staunchest critics, including Democrats who have announced they are running against him next year and other lawmakers, have attacked his national emergency declaration as an end-run around the constitutional provision that U.S. funding authorization lies with Congress and noted that he said that he did not need to take action.

US, Donald Trump, National Emergency, White House
Trump declared the national emergency on Friday to circumvent Congress, which had refused his request for $5.7 billion in wall funding. VOA

Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN, “If we give away, if we surrender the power of the purse… there will be little check and no balance left. It’ll not be a separation of powers anymore, just a separation of parties.”

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Journalist Bob Woodward, who chronicled the first year of the Trump presidency in a best-selling book called “Fear,” told Fox News he believes Trump made the national emergency declaration because “he looks strong. He looks tough to lots of people.”

Trump centered much of his successful 2016 campaign for the White House on a vow to build the wall and make Mexico pay for it. He long since abandoned direct payment from Mexico, when its leaders rejected the idea, and instead sought congressional approval of the U.S. taxpayer funding. (VOA)