It's up to Burr to run a credible Russian probe

"In July 2016, shortly after I announced I'd seek re-election to the United States senate, former members of my presidential campaign team who had access to the internal information of my presidential campaign were targeted by IP addresses with an unknown location within Russian Federation", said Rubio during the hearing.

Earlier Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin again dismissed what he called "endless and groundless" accusations of Russian meddling in the USA election, describing them as part of the US domestic political struggle. Putin denies Russian Federation had anything to do with any election meddling - categorizing the claims as part of America's domestic political struggle.

He also said he is ready to meet President Donald Trump at an upcoming arctic summit. Richard Burr of North Carolina spoke ahead of today's hearing that will address the ways the Kremlin allegedly used technology to spread false information. Mark Warner, the top Democrat and vice chairman of the committee, said in his opening remarks.

Most members of the Senate Intelligence Committee expressed little doubt that Russian Federation tried to influence the USA presidential election through hacking and the spread of disinformation.

Warner told reporters Wednesday there were "upwards of 1,000 paid internet trolls working out of a facility in Russian Federation, in effect, taking over series of computers, which is then called a botnet".

Meanwhile, another big story is unfolding: Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is running its own probe, are beginning to treat this matter with the seriousness it demands - particularly since it is now becoming apparent that the House probe is devolving into absurdity.

PAUL RYAN: I think you're right. "They were with Bernie Sanders supporters, trying to influence them in different directions".

"It's been reported to me, and we've got to find this out, whether they were able to affect specific areas in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, where you would not have been receiving off of whoever your vendor might have been, Trump versus Clinton, during the waning days of the election, but instead, "Clinton is sick", or "Clinton is taking money from whoever for some source" ... fake news". Clinton Watts, a senior fellow at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at The George Washington University, said many social accounts during the election pushing questionable news looked just like real voters in states like Wisconsin and MI. They made a point of putting themselves at arm's length from the House investigation marked by partisanship and disputes.

Disinformation spread on social media was created to raise doubts about the US election and the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, said Senator Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat. Nunes, R-Calif., met with a secret source on the White House grounds last week to review classified material, which he says indicates that Trump associates' communications were captured in "incidental" surveillance of foreigners.

Burr said that he and Warner were committed to getting to the bottom of Russian interference in the election. Additional witnesses could also be interviewed. Kushner, a senior adviser to Trump, volunteered to answer questions about meetings he arranged wit the Russian ambassador and other officials. "That effort was unsuccessful".

"General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit", said Flynn's attorney, Robert Kelner.

"In response to the White House letter, the Committee has asked the White House to direct the agencies that own the intelligence documents in question to immediately provide them directly to the Committee", a committee spokesperson said in a statement. In addition to Watts and Rumer, others who testified Thursday included cybersecurity and global relations experts, plus retired Army Gen. Keith Alexander, a former director of the National Security Agency.

  • Leroy Wright