Senator Rubio: Hackers targeted former presidential campaign staffers

Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin denied any charges his country tried to sway the elections.

"This past week we observed social media accounts discrediting [Republican] Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, hoping to further foment unrest inside USA democratic institutions", he told the committee.

"This Russian propaganda on steroids was created to poison the national conversation in America", Virginia Sen.

At the hearing, lawmakers also warned that Russian Federation could interfere in elections in France and Germany this year and in future USA campaigns.

USA intelligence agencies said Russian Federation hacked emails of senior Democrats and orchestrated the release of embarrassing information to hurt Clinton's campaign.

"So the nation, the world super power, the American government needs to do everything we possibly cannot only to undercut what they are trying to do but to uncover what they are trying to do and help our allies prevent this from happening", he said.

"At 10:45 a.m. yesterday, a second attempt was made again, again former members of my presidential campaign team who had access to our internal information, again targeted by IP addresses within unknown location inside Russia", Rubio said. Trump's GOP presidential rival Sen. Warner says he's not trying to relitigate the outcome of the election, but wants to warn Americans about Russian activities.

Committee chairman Republican Richard Burr said "we are all targets of a sophisticated and capable adversary".

"Senator Rubio, in my opinion, you suffered through these efforts", Foreign Policy Research Institute senior fellow and cyber security specialist Clinton Watts said at an open hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Thursday.

"They win because they play both side", he said.

The remarkable revelation on Thursday was made even more extraordinary by the setting in which it was disclosed: a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing looking into Moscow's role in the 2016 presidential campaign and President Trump's victory.

"There have been more dead Russians in the past three months that are tied to this investigation", he said.

During a news conference, Burr identified just one of the witnesses: President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

"I'm a little bit lost as to what our interests are or how they're coalescing", Watts said.

Answers could come from former Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump's short-lived national security adviser who resigned after 24 days in the post when it came to light that he failed to reveal he had talks with Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, prior to Trump taking office, and misled Vice President Mike Pence on the issue.

He also said he is ready to meet President Donald Trump at an upcoming arctic summit.

Mr Trump has regularly dismissed the claims as "fake news" and Russian Federation has also ridiculed the allegations.

The House Intelligence panel's parallel investigation has been gripped by partisan paralysis. The House Intelligence Committee is, too, but that effort has become engulfed in controversy over questions about whether the Republican chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, of California had colluded with White House officials.

He later apologised but insists he remains an objective chairman and will not step down.

The FBI is also conducting an investigation.

  • Leroy Wright