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DHS: 'NBC News Continues to Falsely Report' on Russian Hacking, 'Misrepresented Facts,' 'Confused Public'

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | February 12, 2018 | 11:51 AM EST

DHS: 'NBC News continues to falsely report" official's comments

“NBC News continues to falsely report my recent comments” about Russian hacking and the 2016 elections, DHS’s Jeanette Manfra said Monday, warning the network’s ‘irresponsible reporting” is undermining DHS’s efforts to do its job.

In a statement regarding the recent NBC news coverage on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) efforts to combat election hacking, Jeanette Manfra, National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) Assistant Secretary for the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications, accuses NBC of misleading and confusing the public by misrepresenting her remarks:

“Recent NBC reporting has misrepresented facts and confused the public with regard to Department of Homeland Security and state and local government efforts to combat election hacking.”

Manfra declares, in no uncertain terms, that there is no evidence that even a single vote was impacted by Russia – but NBC continues to misreport false “breaking” news:

“First off, let me be clear: we have no evidence – old or new - that any votes in the 2016 elections were manipulated by Russian hackers

“NBC News continues to falsely report my recent comments on attempted election hacking – which clearly mirror my testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee last summer – as some kind of “breaking news,” incorrectly claiming a shift in the administration’s position on cyber threats. 

“As I said eight months ago, a number of states were the target of Russian government cyber actors seeking vulnerabilities and access to U.S. election infrastructure. In the majority of cases, only preparatory activity like scanning was observed, while in a small number of cases, actors were able to access the system but we have no evidence votes were changed or otherwise impacted.”

NBC’s false reporting “undermines the ability” of DHS and the Election Assistance Commission to “do our incredibly important jobs,” she says:

"NBC’s irresponsible reporting, which is being roundly criticized elsewhere in the media and by security experts alike, undermines the ability of the Department of Homeland Security, our partners at the Election Assistance Commission, and state and local officials across the nation to do our incredibly important jobs. While we’ll continue our part to educate NBC and others on the threat, more importantly, the Department of Homeland Security and our state and local partners will continue our mission to secure the nation’s election systems."

Nonetheless, DHS will continue to keep NBC informed of the department’s relentless efforts to protect the U.S. election process, Manfra says:

"To our state and local partners in the election community: there’s no question we’re making real and meaningful progress together. States will do their part in how they responsibly manage and implement secure voting processes.  For our part, we’re going to continue to support with risk and vulnerability assessments, offer cyber hygiene scans, provide real-time threat intel feeds, issue security clearances to state officials, partner on incident response planning, and deliver cybersecurity training. The list goes on of how we’re leaning forward and helping our partners in the election community.  We will not stop, and will stand by our partners to protect our nation’s election infrastructure and ensure that all Americans can have confidence in our democratic elections.”


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