Published: Sun, July 22, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

DHS Secretary Echoes Trump's 'Both Sides' Rhetoric on Charlottesville White Nationalist Rally

DHS Secretary Echoes Trump's 'Both Sides' Rhetoric on Charlottesville White Nationalist Rally

"I haven't seen any evidence that the attempts to interfere in our election infrastructure was to favor a particular party".

"I don't think there's any doubt that they did it, and I think we should all be prepared given that capability and will - that they'll do it again".

When pushed about intelligence agencies' findings-in three separate assessments from the intelligence community, Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the Senate Intelligence Committee-that the Russians definitively did hack the election to help Trump win, Nielsen danced around the issue and would not name Trump himself. That joint statement from the full United States intelligence community in 2017 concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign during the 2016 USA presidential election with goals that included harming Hillary Clinton's candidacy.

"I agree with the intel community's assessment, full stop", Nielsen replied. "And what the role of DHS is, is to prepare for them to continue to try to use both foreign influence and direct attacks on infrastructure to effect the results of our election".

When asked what she thought about separating families - and whether it was a good idea - she said: "I say all the time the system is broken". "If she can't state unequivocally that neo-Nazis and white supremacists are a threat to the American people, we must question her judgment", he said.

Trump cast doubt on the assessment of the intelligence community earlier this week, which found that Russian Federation interfered in the election and favored his campaign.


Putin has denied any such meddling. She also declined to say whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions's April announcement of the zero tolerance policy was a surprise to her.

Alexander asked Nielsen if the administration would meet the July 26 deadline for reuniting 2,500 parents with their children.

Nielsen said the practice was aimed at deterring child trafficking, and that Congress needed to change immigration laws so that children and parents could be detained together.

Secretary Nielsen did say that the DHS and the president are looking into ways to combat violent extremism.

Nielsen said she has a very professional relationship with Trump and that he listens to her opinions.

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