tv Former Ambassador Calls Presidents Denial of Russian Interference... CSPAN June 30, 2017 12:02pm-2:39pm EDT
>> he worked there and proved himself invaluable. the owner owed henry a lot of back wages so his employer decided to give the painer to him in return for back wages he was owed. henry became the owner of "the oregonian," turned it into a success, invested in a lot of real estate as the tun grew and was able to eventually build a house as grand as this one. >> watch c-span's cities tour of portland, oregon, at noon eastern on c-span2's book tv and on sunday on c-span3. working with our cable affiliates, visiting cities across the country. >> the senate intelligence committee has been looking into russian interference in the 2016 u.s. election and earlier this week the committee held a heerning russian disruption in elections in european countries. at the hearing we'll hear from former officials with the state
department and nato. >> i'd like to call the hearing to order. that'd committee convenes its second open hearing of 2017 into russian interference in the 2016 u.s. election the 12th open hearing this year. to date our open hearings have largely focused on the domestic impact of russia's dealings. today's hearing will hilet russia's intersfeerns in the european elections. senator burr: we hope to gain additional understanding of russian efforts to undermine
democratic institutions worldwide as the committee continues its inquiry. the intelligence committee assessed in january that moscow will apply lessons learned from its campaign aimed at the united states presidential election to further influence efforts worldwide. it further assessed that russia sought to influence elections across europe. the director of national intelligence copse echoed those words as recently as may when he testified before the senate that russia's seeking to influence election in europe, including france, germany and the yinalted kingdom. the intelligence community assess that the russian messaging strategy blends covert and intelligence operations such as cyberactivity with overt effort by russian government agency, state funded media, third party intermediaries and paid social media users or trolls. russia is employing a whole of
government approach to undermining democratic institutions globally. facing down russia's malicious activity is no longer just a bipartisan issue. to successfully protect our institutions and the integrity of our electoral systems, we must work as a global community to share our experience. collective awareness of moscow's intentions spanning borders and continents will help us to enhance our security measures and thwart these disinformation campaigns. just as germany is learning from the recent events in france and montenegro, we will lean on our allies to inform our approach of the 2018 elections. we must advance more quickly than our adversaries and only together will we do so. i'd like to welcome our distinguished witnesses today. ambassador nick burns, the roy
and barbara goodman family professor of the practice of diplomacy and international relations at harvard kennedy chool of government. that's a mighty long title you've got. we're delighted to have you. anis sarts, director of nato's strategic communication center of excellence. ambassador vesko fwmbings arcevic, professor of practice of -- practice of diplomacy at boston university's pardee school of global studies. stelzenmueller, the inaugural robert bosch fellow of the brookings institution center on the united states and europe. thank you for being here to help us better understand russia's
activities and the underlying intentions russia might have with that, i turn to the vice hairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman, congratulations on a brilliant introduction of our witnesses. focus on ring russia's actions here in america and their similar in some cases ongoing efforts to undermine democratic institutions amongst our closest allies. senator warner: at this point i believe we have a good understanding of the russian playbook. russia's goal is to sow chaos and confusion to fuel internal disagreements and to undermine democracies whenever possible.
really, to cast doubt on democracy wherever it exists. there's nothing new about russia with these kinds of efforts, they date back to the cold war. but their blatant interference in the 2016 presidential election was unprecedented in both scale and scope and we've seen it replicated across europe. in fact, russia's measures are only going bolder and more brazen in the digital age. russia has interfered or intends to -- attempted to interfeern in leches from france to the netherlands from the balkans to the baltic. we've seen his use of many measures, including support for parties, and foor left opposed to historical institutions. russia provided support and financial assistance to the far right party of he pen in france in a -- of le pen in france in a
blatant way. they've launched attacks on government institutions in several western countries and released stolen information in an effort to steer leches in a particular direction. as we saw in the french elections with their release of information about then-candidate mack ron. -- ma cron. -- macron. germany's parliament has been cyberattacked with member's emails hacked and stolen. most expect the information to be utilized before this fall's national elections in germany. and in the united states, russia aggressively uses trolls and botts to spread fake news and disinformation. with the goal of weakening european institutions and driving a wedge between the united states and europe. these active measures have been supported by state controlled russian media including sputnik. so far these russian efforts
have not been successful in europe as perhaps they were here in the united states. for instance, in france, the macron campaign and the french government were prepared to push back on cyber leaks as they released the information in the 48-hour blackout period and we've seen companies such as facebook actually take down a series of fake accounts to help blunt those efforts. this spring, officials hand counted paper ballots to ensure no interference in the vote counts. europe pushed back against news stories and established institutions such as the strategic communications division and the nato strategic communications centers of excellence to help educate the public in identifying
propaganda. we have learned a thing or two from our allies in europe about proactively protecting ourselves against these threats posed by russia. months ago i would have assumed this hearing would have been a good funt for the united states to actually import some lessons -- impart some lessons learned to our european friend. unfortunately, to date, we have not yet as a government as a whole taken to heart many of those lessons. unfortunately as we heard in testimony before the committee, our president and his administration have frankly demonstrated little interest in determining how the russians did what they did or how we might bet brother tect ourselves going forward. instead, we've seen the president repeatedly deny that russia was responsible for u.s. election interference. even in the face of unanimous
disagreement. he's consistently questioned the integrity of intelligence professionals and been all over the map in discussing the united states' commitment to the transatlantic alliances such as nato. as several of my colleagues on the committee has previously noted, in 2016, the russians targeted democrats. who is to say which party will be in the cross hairs next time? the one thing we know is that vladimir putin is not a democrat nor a republican, his interest is to advance russia's interests and undermine the united states. in 2016, i believe that russia ot its money's worth in sowing doubt, distrust and dissension in the heart of the american political process. and my fear is with that rate of return russia will continue to return to those tactics. i don't believe anyone believes
that russia will stop and i believe as a state that has statewide elections in 2017 we ave to be alert now. that's why when we had d.h.s. here last week we asked them to share, even if confidentially, states s of the affected. i believe we are entitled with that information and we need to work through a process so state election officials have the security clearances to at least be read in and my fear is, as we heard last week, when the top election official from indiana and the top election official from wisconsin both of those states could not acknowledge whether they were part of those 21 states. and what was also remarkable was we heard from the state of illinois which is -- which has testified openly they were
attacked on a regular basis, yet they had not been informed until last week that those attacks originated from russia. that's why the testimony we hear today is so important to learn lessons from what's happening in europe and around the world and how on a going-forward basis, western alliances -- western allies can stop this very critical 21st century threat. thank you, mr. chairman, i look forward to the testimony of our witnesses. senator burr: i thank the vice chairman. i make members aware we'll recognize members by seniority for five minutes and i'd like to make a note to members that when we return from next week's fourth of july recess, we will immediately consider the omination of david glowie, undersecretary of intelligence and analysis. if members have additional questions for him they need to be in quickly so that they can
be acted on while we're out. the vice chairman and i intend to move that nomination as quickly as we can when we get back. i thank the witnesses for being here today. i recognize from my left to my right and we'll start with you, ambassador burns, welcome. mr. burns: thank you for this opportunity to testify. i appreciate very much the bipartisan commitment your committee has shown to investigate russia's interference in your elections and our elections. there's no doubt about russia's systematic campaign to undermine our 2016 presidential election, the montneg ran, dutch and french lech this is year and russia is seeking to reduce the confidence that the citizens of othese countries have in their democracies. in this sense, russia's actions pose an exist ten rble threat to the democratic -- an exiss ten
rble threat to the democratic nations of the west and it requires a swift response. you asked for our recommendations, mr. chairman, and i have just three. first, the united states and europe need to work much more closely together to identify russia's cyber and disinformation attacks as they are being launched and then we need to work together actually to do something about it. to respond in tandem to discredit russia's actions. you saw the campaign of macron d that effectively. you have not seen that in other countries. we on both sides of the atlantic should make it -- clear to the russian governments that we have our own capabilities that would be injurious, and we will use them if moscow doesn't cease and desist. with the benefit of hindsight, president obama in my view should have been transparent and specific with the american people in the campaign about the nature of the russian threat. he should have reacted earlier
and much more vigorously. now, to be fair to him, this was an extraordinarily difficult choice, it was a new and unexpected threat, president obama would have likely been accused in the heat of a gain for intervening in the contest between secretary clinton and donald trump and he did make the right call in the end by imposing sanctions on moscow. but we in america and europe have to learn from this experience. and try to avoid that in the future. second, the u.s. and europe should adopt stronger sanctions against russia for its actions to weaken our lebses. we learned an important lesson in the iran nuclear negotiations in the obama and george w. bush administrations. the swarnings much more effective when the united states and e.u. aligned them together, specifically the financial sanctions. i hope the house of representatives will back and not dilute in this sense the very strong senate sanctions bill against moscow you passed
by a 97-2 margin two weeks ago. in my view it would be a great mistake for president trump to veto such a bill. with our long national two-century ry debate about the separation of powers in mind, i do think congress, it's time for the congress and not the president, to lead the american response to russia's cyberattack on the united states. the president has shown that he's unwilling to act against russia and that is why the congressional review provision in your senate bill makes imminent sense so that the administration cannot ease or lift the sanctions on russia until putin's attacks on our democratic elections have ceased and until he's met the provisions of the two minsk agreements on ukraine and crimea. third, congress and the president must make resistance to russian interference in the european elections as well as ours an urgent national priority. i served in the government for a long time, i served both parties as a foreign service officer.
and i find it dismaying and objectionable that president trump continues to deny the undeniable fact that russia launched a major cyberattack against the united states regardless of what party he launched it against. he's done the same thing in europe, very systematically, and yet in response to that, president trump has refused to launch an investigation of his own. he's not made this an issue in our relationship with the russians. he's taken no steps at least that i'm aware of with the congress and state and local governments to strengthen our voting systems. from future russian hacking of our mid-term elections in 2018 and the next presidential election in 2020. there's no indication he's asked his senior cabinet officials to develop a plan to protect the united states and to deter the russians. and his failure to act, and i'm a former u.s. ambassador to nato, i was president george w.
bush's ambassador, we have a political responsibility in nato to protect each other, not just from armed conventional attacks but from cyber attacks as well. that's a clear failure. i've worked for both parties. it's inconceivable to me that any of president trump's predecessors would deny the gravity of such an open attack on our democratic system. i don't believe any previous american president would argue that your own hearings in the senate are a waste of time or in the words of president trump a witch hunt. they're not. you're doing your duty that the people elected you to do. it is his duty, president trump's, to be skeptical of russia. it's his duty to investigate. and defend our country against cyber offensive because russia is our most dangerous adversary in the world today. and if he continues to refuse to act, it's a dereliction of the basic duty to defend the country. and russia is going to do this again. you heard director comey at this
committee say that he felt that russia would be back, maybe against the republican or democratic party. our elections will be at risk when that happens, and the sanctity of our elections will be compromised in the minds of our citizens. let me just close by saying that russia's really testing the leadership and resolve of the west. americans and europeans are far stronger in our democratic traditions and values than the russians. and with this in mind we need to be more effective in countering them. we can do that by building bipartisan unity in the congress and i do want to commend you, mr. chairman, and mr. vice chairman you set a bipartisan tone which is deeply appreciated. we cab do that by encouraging the president to act. we can do that by being very closely aligned with the europeans to take action. i think if we can achieve those three things, we can defeat president putin and the russian intelligence services. thank you.
senator burr: thank you, ambassador, thank you for your service for a long time to this country. ambassador garcevic. garcevic: thank you, mr. chairman burr, mr. vice chairman warner, distinguished members of the committee. thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to speak on russia's interference in montenegro's home affairs. on october 16, 2016, montenegro held its parliamentary elections. the voters disguised in police uniforms were preparing to storm the parliament and provoke a turmoil by shooting at citizens waiting for election results. the final stage, they intended to detain or assassinate the prime minister. acting on a tip, montneg ran police were able to -- montenegro police were able to arrest most of those involved.
14 people were charged, including two opposition politicians and two russian agents, members of the russian military service identified as the ring leads of the operation. shiroko was the assistant at the russian embassy in warsaw and he was declared persona non grata for espionage. the whereabouts are unknown. russian authorities never provided information about the suspects. it's the culmination of more than 18 months long synchronized actions againstmont negro which includes an adwressive media campaign, coupled with supports to pro-russian political parties in montenegro. while russia has been -- they , they never
have never specified what their intentions are. but for example when montenegro joined nato recrenly at the beginning of june, it was commanded that in response to montenegro's anti-russian hysteria and hostile policy russia reserves the right to take reciprocal measures. there are more than 100 moscow-backed organizations and media outlets at this moment in the region. in an anti-montenegro media campaign, the nato invitation is described as a move to challenge moscow. the montenegro government is labeled treacherous -- and russia and nato stronger than ever. the church is utilized to
promote the wills of orthodox christianity and present them as fundamentally different that fundamentally contradicts the western world. the wugs government fully backed democratic front and an anti-montenegro political coalition dominated by the serbian national party known for their pro-russian affiliation. the primary goal of the front and its supporters in russia was to get the montenegro opposition united around its political platform and prevent the formation of a new pro-nato government inmont negro. moscow has made no progress in montenegro and it has seemingly lost the possibility of having a strategically significant outlet . but moscow will continue exposing loopholes that exist in most of the balkan states.
democratic incapacity, corruption, military needs an growing fears of marginalization on those countries in the e.u. and nato. the rule of law and efficient law enforcement agencies are the conditions for stability and for protection from russia's influence. the best way to restrain russia interference is a proactive approach to from the u.s. and e.u. and energetic support for democratic reforms in the balkan states. the door of nato and e.u. must remain open for states wishing to join those organizations. and further, american retreat may have adverse implications for ball con security. thank you, mr. chairman, i look forward to your questions. senator burr: thank you, mr.
ambassador. pll sarts. mr. sarts: thank you. from the time our center was established 2 1/2 years ago, we have been closely watching russian information operations and influence operations across europe. we have produced 18 different studies on the methodology, ways, how russia tries to affect the outcomes of our democratic processes and our choices. in the election process typically there are three venue they try to pursue. first to support the candidate of their choice. do that, they use the money and they give the support of all the media, traditional media networks they are controlling to the candidate. to the proportion as nowhere near of a normal democratic process.
which lies and fakes terror. secondly they try to do -- to get the sensitive information on the other candidates. to undermine their credibility. typically, they try to achieve it through hacking into the systems but that is not the only way. they use very large segments of disinformation. fake news is one of instruments of choice. they're disseminating that through the same information networks they operate within. but they also use fake news sites as network they use trolls, both human as well as robotic, to amplify the message. all of that was seen in the recent french election. let me just go through quickly what was the french response. and what i think we should take note of.
first, media corporation. media were teaming together and very different sorts of media teaming together to work to verify what is a factual reality. they were supported by the online activist groups like cross check and also big internet companies like facebook and google joined efforts to make sure that the facts, also in the digital space, take the pre-eminence over the falsehoods. secondly, they were assuming and knowing they're going to be hacked. there were many hack attempts. and of course all of us who have been in a cybersecurity business know you can design only as strong response as possible, there is always a human factor. so what the french idea has been, they trapped the hackers. they fed them the irrelevant
information in large amounts. making the dumped information irrelevant as well. and thirdly, that was how the media, public, and authorities treated the hack. first, the authorities, based on the french law, said it is illegal to use these hacks for further circulation. secondly, most of the media refrains from going for the hacks, understanding the way they are trying to be manipulated into the election process. based on that, i'll share some recommendations. first, societal awareness. that is a critical thing to be achieved. the nation that is aware it's under attack is far more resilient than the one that is oblivious of that. secondly, as demonstrated by the french case working with the media is essential.
both for their role but also for their understanding how they might be manipulated in the process. thirdly, we still treated the information environment as a game of golf. it is not anymore. it's rugby. in rugby, you need to have a very good situational awareness. we have to build tools to know what are the echo chambersing what are the information bubbles, who is trying to penetrate them? what are the robotic networks trying to push? what is -- what are the third parties or outside governments, what kind of data are they looking into your societal systems? that is one of the key elements that we have to possess to be able to respond effectively to hat game of rugby. every single element of the
cyberhas to be able to do a defense. the technical -- technical piece and the human piece have to be there. and we cannot succeed if we don't work together with companies. that's the area where most of the i.t. activity takes place and where it is most successful. and i think we can make them one of the good partners in making sure that the fact and truth are much more preeminent in that environment than any falsehood. lastly, mr. chairman, mr. vice chairman, the reason russian activity succeeds is because we have not paid attention. they're using their old tricks borrowed help from our know-how. i see no reason why they should keep winning. to me, it's about focusing on the problem, bringing different
actors across a society together, and then collectively, i do believe we have all the otential to bring this for us. senator burr: thank you. dr. stelzenmueller. ms. stelzenmueller: thank you. it's an honor to be invited here today to testify before you on the critical issue before this panel, russian interference on european elections, specifically on the federal election, september 24, in my country, germany. russian interference in european political space is strategic and is aimed at destabilizing the european project. germany is the fulcrum with which to achieve this goal. weaken germany and you diminish the e.u. and the european project and conversely because germany has orchestrated the consensus on sanctions against europe, it has become the main obstacle for rush in pursuing
its interest in europe and the ukraine. russia interference in germany, as we know, occurred far long time but it's not limited to lech nor will it stop thereafter. as for the election itself, there's a general consensus in my country that there will be meddling, the only question is when and in what form that will take. technical manipulation of the leches, however, is unlikely. we use paper ballots and we have hardened the computer infrastructure we use to aggregate the data. the real target of russia interference in germany is voters, they're trying to hack our political consciousness. for this they use a bred spectrum of tools from propaganda to disinformation to denial of service attacks to more classical means such as individual or institutional agents of influence. attribution and intent, of course, remain elusive. this is one of the most difficult problems, not least because not even the russian authorities ordering interference are cohesive and
execution is often outsourced or delegated including to what president putin has called hay pais trotic hackers. the impacts of kremlin interference if we're honest here is also hit and miss. often miss. in many ways, it's meddling in european elections over the past year has produced the exact opposite of what is intended. it's produced stable, democratic, nonpopulist governments that are pro-european union and indeed, pro-nato and pro-american. the populists have lost out almost everywhere and nato and e.u., i'm happy to say, are experiencing a renaissance of purpose. in the german race, what looked like a neck-to-neck race for a while at the beginning of the year is now looking quite different. chancellor merkel is holding a steady 14-point lead. but that does not mean, and i urge you to consider this, that russia cannot still do significant damage. as for countermeasures, germany has certainly taken a while to
take note of the threat but it has been racing to make up for lost time over the past two years by hardening its defenses and creating more resilience. that's not to say there's not still much more to be done, particularly on the civil society front and german politicians certainly need to do better at articulating their narratives against kremlin disinformation. and of course it helps that germany is not the first country to face this threat. in fact we come at the end of a long string of elections and we can learn from our friends and allies particularly from the rench case just explained by mr. sartz. -- sarts. in fact, with russian interference such as they are are forms of our failure. what form could russian interference in our september elections take? if there were a major terrorist attack a return of the refugee crisis that could be exploited
by propaganda. it's conceivable there would be further ddos attacks or further hacks of a leak of the 2015 hacked substance, 16 gig ba -- gigabytes were taken away and we haven't seen them. but it's just as likely that russia's attempt to use such events would backfire as they have before so they need to tread carefully. and it could also take the form of ongoing probing combined with a continued slow grip of tox -- slow drip of toxic disinformation as is happening now all the time. ermany will have to remain ttentive but also relaxed. we don't want to think the threat is bigger than it actually is. we are a strong and vibrant democracy and can fight this in the marketplace too. however, it is beyond any doubt that germany and all of europe are experiencing a phase of
historical volatility and risk and in such a time, friends and allies matter more than ever. here, our relationship with america is key. we understand that europe needs to do more for its own defense and take on more of the burden of transatlantic security relationships of the united states. and we have as many here know and as nick knows, we have taken many steps toward this goal. but the alliance as such, our political, economic, and military partnership is crucial for the preservation of the european project. and an america that feels ambiguous about the value of the alliance could be perceived by the kremlin as the ultimate encouragement. i therefore respectfully have only one recommendation for you, or rather it is a request. stand by us. thank you very much and i look forward to your questions. senator burr: thank you, doctor, thank you to all of our witnesses. a reminder we will recognize members by seniority for up to
five minutes. the chair recognizes himself. two questions to all of you, they are yes and no -- yes or no. do you have any doubt that russian interference is driven by putin himself? start with you, ambassador burns. mr. burns: no doubt. garcevic: no doubt. mr. sarts: no doubt. ms. stelzenmueller: none. senator burr: any doubt that russian interference is or has happened in the u.s. and european elections? mr. burns: it's happened ystematically. garcevic: it has happened and is going to happen. mr. sarts: it has happened. ms. stelzenmueller: difficult to vary on this, but yes. nator burr: ambassador
garcevic, what would have happened in montenegro had russia succeeded in interfering with the lechs? garcevic: you can imagine, first would impose sanctions by my country on russia. my country was the few in the region to impose sanctions immediately after they were imposed by e.u., snord so show full aslines with the e.u. that would be the first immediate step to be taken. the second in terms of far-reaching cost, they would turn direction of the country from western-leaning to eastern-leaning which means that i can imagine that in years from now,mont negro would become a satellite of russia in the balkans. therer br: mr. sarts, was
any evidence of russian involvement in the u.k. most recent elections? sputnik andf course sate made an effort to have an effect on the election but i would not say that there has been a significant pattern of russian involvement in the u.k. election that we have seen. i would also argue that it is apparent that ve russia requires time to construct elaborate operations to attack the election system. so there's very little preparatory time for enhancing the networks, activating the networks and planning for these things, they are not really efficient.
senator burr: i took from your areimony that media outlets directed in many cases by russian government as to how they cover elections, what they say or don't say about candidates. r.t.st the fact that maybe and sputnik had a narrative that was different in britain than maybe the mainstream press that would be a sign of russia trying to influence the outcome, would it not? mr. sarts: i have no direct evidence to say that the particular narratives that we see in these outlet during the election period in u.k. would have been directly directed from kremlin, although there is a regular monthly meeting between all the key editors of media in
russia with the kremlin officials. reportedly they coordinate the messaging. senator burr: it's not a news outlet as we would define in the united states, independent? mr. sarts: yes. senator burr: if i understood your testimony, i think there was a discussion that -- suggestion that america's social media platforms knew that they were part of a coordinated attack especially as it related to france. did i hear you correctly? mr. sarts: the media platforms ve the data to see where the information originates and i assistingve been also the french media to make sure that within these platforms the information that these
consortiums find as factually correct have the preeminence. senator burr: media outlets have the ability to understand whether a bot has been used to make it look like there's tremendous public support for an issue versus real public support is that an accurate state snment mr. sarts: yes, it is actually. it's more than just the media themselves themselves. there's increased number of research and also we are about to publish a regular report on robotic networks and social media that these robotic systems are pushing the specific narratives, what we've seen, the ame are botic networks working on the dutch elections, pushing the russian narrative, or if that matter also in the french election, pushing the le pen narrative, pushing all the fake
ories about the -- about macron. senator burr: last question, mr. burns, what should the u.s. response be and should that response to election integrity and intrusion by the russians be coordinated with our european partners? mr. burns: i think we should. first our intelligence agencies have to be linked up to understand the threat as it's happening. second, if laws are being broken in both europe and the united states, our judicial authorities ought to be working together to prosecute people and put them behind bars. third, and this will probably happen through secretary tillerson and others and our ambassadors overseas, in the response you saw this brilliant response by the macron campaign to push back, we can be batched up with the europeans in a response whether it's in europe or the united states. we're in the same nato alliance. all the countries represented here today are.
it's a political alliance as well as a military alliance. we ought to be working together. finally, i think the senate is on the right track with your sanctions bill. it's a tough bill. i know it's caused controversy in some countries in europe but frankly american companies, european companies shouldn't have advantages to sell into the russian market that american companies don't have. i think your bill makes that point. senator burr: thank you, ambassador. vice tcharme. senator warner: thank you to the witnesses for your testimony and for your unanimous agreement on the nature of the russian threat and the attacks that were created here in the united states. i want to go back to, in our march public hearing, one of our witnesses, clint watts, testified that then-candidate trump, quote, used russian active measures at times against his opponents. end of quote. cited then-candidates trump
coordination -- then candidate's trump coordination in calling candidate ks, we saw trump continue to use terms like the election is being rigged, the same types of terms that were used by the kremlin in their propaganda efforts. do you agree with what -- do you agree with the conclusion that at least inadvertently candidate trump was actually advancing the goals of the russian propaganda efforts? i'd like to hear any of your comments on that, starting with you, ambassador burns. mr. burns: first, i don't have any independent knowledge about the trump campaign, working with -- senator warner: i'm not asking that. i'm asking whether his comments about elections being rigged, calling on wikileaks, it appeared, and mr. watts drew the conclusion that at least
inadvertently, then-candidate trump was actually aligned with some of what russia plop began da efforts were trying to sow the same chaos and questioning of our democratic processes. mr. burns: right. i thought it was important to say, i don't have information but when candidate trump did encourage the russian government to find more of secretary clinton's emails, i thought that was an irresponsible statement. senator warner: anyone else want to comment? you're taking a safe, diplomatic effort, all of you, i appreciate that. i imagine i would get the same re-- give the same response because i again share very much ambassador burns your comments earlier that the lack of interest shown by the president of even acknowledging this threat or taking this threat, urging his administration to take this threat seriously and lay out a coordinated, whole-government approach to
what will be a threat in 217, 2018, i would argue that putin and his cronies had a pretty darn good rate of return on the number of rubles invested in their activities to kind of take n our election system. mr. sarts, i commend you for your good work in the reports you have done on the robot trolling and how russians are sing technology tools to exponentially increase the power of their fake news. you've said -- you've cited reports, at least 8% of twitter accounts are actually bot accounts and thereby do not epresent an actual person.
facebook, i was out recently with facebook and they took down accounts. facebook said they took down fake accounts. and i commend them for that, because right after the u.s. election, facebook acted like they had no responsibility for policing fake news. i think they moved into a more responsible position. i'd love to hear from all of you what role you feel these platform companies that control so much information, google, face boork, twitter, et al, have in this new world. we'll go down the list, mbassador burns. mr. burns: i had the opportunity to be at stanford and i was impressed by the number of people, take youtube, that they now dedicate to try to filter out hate speech. that's commendable. if that's the case, there ought to be an ongoing dialogue between the u.s. government, our national security agencies, and these companies to try to filter out russian propaganda. it's a direct assault on our country. i was impressed by mr. sarts
testimony. i thought it was quite convincing there has to be an integration of a technology company and our government on this issue. senator warner: thank you. i'd love to hear the rest of your comments, please. mr. sarts: well, first, i also came back from silicon valley where we talked to a lot of these companies on these issues. first, there is a growing market, black market for robotics in social media. some of it is rather innocent but much of it is some kind of criminal activity. and that is going to be a growing concern for people in a digital environment to actually understand that they're really interacting with a human being instead of large numbers of robots supported by artificial intelligence. to counter that, these companies that have these platforms are one of the key players. i was heartened by the discussion back there. they are taking it
seriously. it's probably slightly too late but most of these big companies are investing on thinking about how they can be an active supporter of a democratic process, not a disruptor, and secondly, there is a growing number of the technology research on the subject that we can rely on. as ambassador burns said and as i said in my initial statement, it is a must we work ogether. if we don't we will not succeed in the digital environment. senator warner: have we seen any cooperation on this in germany? my time's expired. dr. stelzenmueller: yes. german companies have made townships to silicon valley to talk to big media companies like google, facebook and twitter. i have been told the initial conversations were less than, shall we say, less than
cooperative. less iran cooperative there seems to be no inclination to self police there seem to be no inclination to self-police and there also was no inclination to help. hat has significantly changed, i gather. to enforce those hate speech rules and has other critics have mixed feelings and for this to regulate itself and then to shape the marketplace and it has to be
an ongoing conversation and with that regulation. >> ambassador in to be the most dangerous adversary but as you said in this committee and with those other adversaries but as somebody is running a country and what they would do the administration and is threatened i can tell you and you to be slightly off
mark if it is the most dangerous adversary that we face but russia is not a dangerous adversary. and there are others that our more dangerous the you could agree with me that the russians had taken in no active measures in the elective role since president trump has been president?. >> may i just say in response to the first comment, i agree with everything he said about north your in negative north korea back into greater damages certainly in europe so it is respectful.
>> i appreciate that is the more likely that assuming it had nuclear weapons that have more likely it would come from russia or or north korea?. >> i think they are both a problem when in general the deferred was there. >> beg you agree that they've taken no active measures? is that a fair statement?. >> i don't know. >> you think russians have taken active measures?. >> i don't know. >> we do know they have in the last presidential election.
>> we are all in agreement with that and who was president one that occurred? >> president obama. >> he was aware this was going on and he talked to mr. putin about that. >> you heard my a testament about president obama i had great respect for him to give him the benefit live hindsight should have acted to be transparent with the american people but he did take action but donald trump is now investigating and taking no action. >> i'm talking about somebody who could have done something you are aware they talk to mr. putin about that ?. >> also the obama administration brief to the
of congress there republic's statements made by a secretary johnson but they did take action so when president obama told mr. putin we knew they were taking measures so if you are president of the united states you are well within your rights to tell putin we think he is doing. it is no good if you collect that and though you said. >> if you don't want that to see the light of day. >>. >> this is monday morning quarterbacking but if you go back and look the american
people deserve to know what is happening clearly after ringing the village bell we should've had a response that was painful to the russians and by a covert means i don't want to micromanage the mia testimony clearly shows that president trump has taken no action at whatsoever. >> but the description in that you gave that the obama administration does not take significant action. >> the obama administration ensure taken more action and
that has implications for europe. >> but what should have been done with a commander in chief?. >> many have said this is the crime of the century if it is conducted by intelligence agencies we know russian intelligence to be ruthless. a cancer risk to the defeat it is the first woman running for office and they targeted 21 states i have
been sitting here listening to you and your colleagues and i have great respect for you but my own view it fits the crime of this century that we together have day responsibility to head back better sanctions really be effective way to do that? would of we can see they amount of destruction and the continuation of what is
happening in europe and the bear is on the march and how do you stop that? so of those abilities it is hard to believe there really doesn't do anything. but the united states of america cannot see that critical infrastructure of a democratic election destroyed by russia. i very interested if anyone is prepared to play an end
prepare?. >> day half to be aligned their retch strong curve we work with those europeans it is my impression to do much more of to respond verbally to a propaganda but you are right to think of other means. >> these are not french people but to data three intelligence services of russia that is a big deal to
hit the elections so maybe we shut off this sanction or maybe it just goes away? i have been on this committee for a long time i have never seen the full confidence of when the agencies have full confidence and has been orchestrated by a putin. >> but the first thing we have to do that is what be talked about. >> define resilience of the
which is a paradox so what we have to look for we're not attacked by the russians but by the kremlin and actually to help those people to recognize what is that reality the truce of -- the truth of what they hide from their own citizens. >>. >> may i add a few words? i personally lived in the country under sanctions to be a citizen of a country and for those anxious to start working that was part
but this is also loon's soft power they aren't much better it may offer more than russia. >> madden senator i would like to add remarks to what has already been said that as an ally and a citizen of your allies of do no harm or question in the alliance but that is also in our interest to be as the central importance so american governments to question is that the alliance led the article five mutual defense commitment does more to undermine our security and safety than many things the
kremlin does. not to say we don't have flaws in a mental ability is but that we could address those together sanctions to work even more as a political statement and as such to have a tremendous impact to leave a deep impression against the threats against your peer project. >> my hope they will produce a document that will much detail what happened but how they did it to take
preventive steps settle believe it is going in the all negative away anytime soon bin to have that instability i doubt if anybody thinks that is the case. and that the sp deeply gratified to as to authorize the measures which it has been exacerbated by a truly hope the best ways that we can tie and maintain that. so when stuff k mount there was some blackout at the end period i am not attacking the media but just to say when the most powerful
agents of russian influence was the mainstream media so that gossiping aspects of it and not your chin's of what it was about so those that understand that would get widespread coverage so i want to know if anybody has successfully confronted this threat to alleviate the sting of the severed? i point to an article in "the new york times" that talks about the steps taken by creating dozens of false e-mail accounts i am curious
of the efforts and montenegro bin there were not able to have that pro day negative old government because we need to do that. >> first that people did not like to be manipulated and then to change their mind they become more cautious we have seen any number of countries it is much harder instantly. said to be very important
examples and what we are willing to do from a strategic point of view and with that media campaign and with that approach it has adopted its approach it in that region. we're also not used to watching russian tv or reading newspapers said russian we don't hear those russian communities so they have decided to establish those in the region into
to have those people and the citizens of my country and it is about dignity to be fundamentally different in and then if we join nato or the you so if they use these different channels and that since that to ruin schleicher the hearts of the people. >> fakes to the four of you this has been a valuable panel. i focus on following the money issue about the moscow
funding two years ago directing that intelligence assessment so looking its european democracy to help us understand what has happened because of those pro russian political figures so had you been able to determine if putin employs various strategies to curry favor and what would those strategies me?.
russians information power and whosever is message they're trying to promote and whose political point of view they are trying to use for whenever. >> as president to to make that decision himself based on what they know?. >> so to look explicitly at the source so i could not make that conclusion. >> does that help political parties or individual figures all all of these different approaches?.
>> all of the above. >> is any information available and what mechanism putin prefers to provide financial assistance?. >> in the open space with the european intelligence agencies with '70s practices but there is much more that is not in the public space. >> so your statements referred to the russian in cyberattacks last time in the u.k. parliament came under a sustained nt terminal attack although the
source has not been identified. so i understanding every attack will be different because once you engage in one strategy the based on your analysis with those cyberattack strategy is?. >> first i think you give too much credit to the kremlin and operations in fact, our research says much remains the same but that generic advice we have two
things slightly differently of levees cyberattack is we think of that as a venue to get into the infrastructure infrastructure, but i would they get those parameters but at the end of the day the purpose is to get into the mind with that defense. >> i am glad he think they are less clever although i do have reservations about that. had one last point ambassador imf a endures but one thing that concerns me is that you talked about
integrating the companies and government and thank you meant to better communication in want to make that point. >> thank you i did mean there should be communication. >> ambassador it is good to see you the key for joining the panel. so with montenegro in france and germany is much more proactive and exposing the fall said that is out there and with the farm were visible effort and you are somewhat critical of president obama and ivan be
even more critical of his response to call that behind the scenes the really not until after the election that the sanctions were imposed and the january 6 report on the effectiveness of the scope of the russian interference was released from the intelligence community but as you pointed out president chun's administration doesn't seem to have any strategy going forward but then i hear
baldie efforts among government or the media or even technology company i just cannot even and imagine a headline to see the american route newsroom so our system is so different with those active nests that -- measures is steady been possible with the very different role from the media? ambassador?.
>> we are learning the of lessons as we go along and he does think the next target so i applied that bipartisan effort but the europeans have learned lessons in what seems to have worked well in speed and in decisive action with transparency so actually all of the french people are made aware of the threat and that is the basis of my criticism. i have tremendous respect for president obama this is monday morning quarterbacking. but if you're asked to testify this is a lesson in half to learn but was it is missing from the government
that is one step the trump administration could work with that would be good with their visibility and action. >> transparency is a critical lesson ambassador garcevic, i want to ask you about montenegro with that special relationship i can tell by your smile you are aware of that program to of those members station to assist the military and to get you ready for nato but that's is an interesting example because despite a
>> ambassador you talked about that sanctions bill but if the speaker does not take up that bill but type of message does that send to vladimir putin?. >> beacon as by the senate to have a painful type of leverage the trump administration and carriages that and they will recede a mixed message. >> so will they make that more or less likely?. >> i read the transcript of your hearing he thinks that will continue to we have
bettered if defense and i think secretary to loosen to do that as directly and then to say there are consequences that is the most effective about the trump administration. >> should we take the cyberattacks to take that military action or the threat to the country?. >> tavis you respond within hours what they tried to reduce systematically is due discredit democracy in the eyes of the citizens i did
think that was not hyperbole but we need to meet this squarely with the multitude of ways. >> don't disagree and to a knowledge as that fluidity but i am curious what that means to lead france a conversation with european allies and i would like your opinion on that. >> this has to be held talking to the germans and the austrians about the consequences of the senate bill so talk about the separation of powers i
allies to discuss what is a net interest that would be as a significant importance. >> one president tromped --- trump even after we should keep that as a structure. >> i already said that i think that helps the president and it is not great kelso think it is america's best interest to question the alliance the kids to have an interest in europe and the alliance with us europeans hostess to deal with that interest. >> i could not agree more. >> before my a time runs out how to retake the truth directly to the russian people because they receive so much other information so how do we speak directly to the russian people?.
>> so it is very clear and evident if one takes note against the corruption it is striking how young back crowd was handed is clear they don't get their world view is from the social merits the kremlin will try to put up a new element to progress that is the environment. >> thanks for your testimony today. >> the russian economy is failing not the country that
it could or should be subject to to benefit in russia from getting credit for interfering with elections?. >> i think he does. >> does. >> this is what is significant part of his policy to benefit from the. >> i'm sorry i cannot give yes said no short-term benefits long term he loses. >> but the short-term benefit. >> it validates the narrative that they are better living off in russia but the reality is a lot of those have backfired visibly and it taught us to review a the complacency in to defend the democracy which is a good thing but we're also up
against a significant enemy. >> what should we do with our country's starting with the view what if anything have you done to respond really to contradict information? you are closer to this than we are but it is harder there. >> so ironically i was stunned by the amount of posters and advertisements the big ones that the bus
stop and then all over the construction site fences i have never seen anything like that so there was a big investment. >> no investment like that in germany?. >>. >> would you allow that?. >> ambassador garcevic to think if they want to buy advertisements it is a free country and they are companies i am not a big fan of that and the state to protect us from think the region perfectly well think through an american can do this as well but what is more insidious if it is covert with a dying people or institutions? indicating fed is more insidious than the fake news?. >> it is if consumers are citizens are not media literate. >> but another country's
what about other rationale let's?. >> and that information space somebody doesn't have the credibility than there is the refect from that and there is an interesting example in the scandinavian countries. >> what about montenegro. >> i can barely remember of that rationale based media itself but to be in neighboring serbia so they really ted show up with the places it in a moment
because then they can do that easily because then from there and then to be impoverished. >> so what is it anything should we do about the miscommunication?. >> blades attached an adjective such to expose them who they are as russia and beverage and be very careful because they will destroy our -- to start with you say to not give them the platform. >> i actually agree with your current position on congressionally binding sanctions and i assume you're much more inclined to have a flexible position at the state department? to make that destroyed a creature of the executive branch like it is better to preserve the president's
authority to act since he is acting in think congress has to take their responsibility >> so starting with the couple of comments to associate myself with senator rubio question what can be due to defend ourselves? can you submit half a page report here is what we can do to defend ourselves and sent with the implementation of a new kind of warfare soul balladry who was said chief to the general staff calls that what the naysaying information that we air
engaged in informational conflict but petitions defense budget is 1/8 the hours but plays a we can't very well because this is where public opinion matters so to have some short questions any doubt but that is an arm of the russian government? no doubt. everybody agrees. i heard in a previous hearing that the russians were sniffing around buying commercial tv all bets in europe. have you heard that?. >> yes. there have been cases they
have tried but the government tries to block the possibility. >> that is one of the things we have to watch so what was done here consistent with what the russians have been doing?. >> there was some new elements. >> darr getting more sophisticated?. >> you said something several times that some members of this committee were in eastern europe to be in the ukraine and poland
the first thing it wants to tell us his watch out for those elections and we did not understand how precious and that was at the time so how do you defend yourself? the best defense is if the people know what is happening to say it is just the russians and that you characterized as societal wariness to educate the american people and to use that word digit the - - digital literate but we need to understand they will keep doing this and we need to shrugged that off. >> i agree that is the lesson to learn it is do they did not appreciate the
extent and the lack of transparency. >> there has been some discussion on october night there is a comprehensive memo those that were listed in the heat of the campaign nobody pays attention that i industry in but that the lemon is do we go public in a big way? but i agree that would have been inappropriate 20/20 hindsight but that compromise is that not part of the strategy? that has that happened in other countries?. >> that german legislature
the have nots posted anything yet that is the james bond version. but with compromise you don't find out because you are not supposed to. >> but to be very heavily elite -- heavily used but also having one is not only the essential. >> you could make something up decane cakes a dog every morning that i deny that for the next three months. so i hope he will give us of written responses because that is an important role of this committee to prepare
ourselves for what everybody has suggested is not a one-off sale in 2016 but will continue to have given all both sides of the political divide because putin is not a republican he is an opportunist and the next time it could come from the opposite direction but it is still a corruption to our democracy. >> i have learned several things today that the keying kicks the dog every morning and i was completely unaware of that. [laughter] going back to the question of before is the deterrence so what price should russia pay for this type of interference? i have heard that from several of you to
find cooperation between legitimate media sites to help identify so what price should they pay? with the russians were cheating with their athletes in a very short period of time it paid a big price by the athletes not going to the 2016 olympics you train them and did dope them and were caught some of the last 24 hours that authority can even start testing their athletes again they have been on suspension that long and they paid in the price though the hope that is a deterrent so what price should they pay?. >> this is a difficult question of the delete and the major reason was the retribution and even with the intelligence services and though they may not want to make that public and that
i thought when macron met putin and the way he did it was not pleasant experience for putin. so being direct instead of what they thought would be this polite talk. secondly, the machinery there, using against us, is extremely important for kremlin to control their own population. so if we're able to dismantle it, then we actually, as i said, we bring in more truth into the internal russian discourse. senator lankford: other ideas? ambassador burns: it's a tough question for both president trump as it was for president obama. can we find a pressure point as the integrity of our elections. i think constanze was right. that's probably going to be
asymmetric. ambassador garcevic: maybe add a sentence. mention that russia's goal is to drive a wedge between the e.u. and the u.s. i think that one of the things that at the u.n. -- europe must exist and unity between e.u. and the u.s. must remain. on top of what was said. chairman burr: senator manchin. senator manchin: thank all of you for being here. sweden has launched a nationwide school problem to teach students to identify russian propaganda. and another links up the distinguished gentleman from tee to spread russian disinformation they call the aily skirmishes, ellives vs. trols. they have disabled ton 10s of
thousands of fake accounts used to sway voters close to election time and removes defamiliartory and hate-filled posts. all of this is -- it's amazing. i think you all have been dealing with this and it says undertaken ia has russian meddling since it broke free of the soviet union in 1991. i think it goes back to what mr. sarts, what you said. they have been controlling their people by misinforming them, by basically not giving them the facts, giving them what they already know. when latvia broke in 1991, you were able at that time to set your people free by the truth. have you been able to -- have any insurgencey into russia getting the truth in there using their own weapons against them, their own networks against them? mr. sarts: well, none of the
governments that i know of have . de a decision to do that there are society groups that the o do that and bring in different tools that might be there. some of them -- and i would argue in front of this committee -- humor as awkward as it might be is one of the best tools i would suggest penetrate the control system. in recently we produced a report on the humor as a tool of communication. we had a response from one and went on for whole months, including president of chechnya doing a video as a response to our research of humor. i think that tells you a story. so there are many ways you can
get in. senator manchin: let me ask this question then. there's been reports -- it's open source that put ip was directly involved, -- putin was directly involved, was -- our intelligence basically said he was directly involved. he gave the order to do what was done. do you have that same verification in your countries and nato allies that putin was directly involved and have you eye department find him as being directly involved so people would know where it's coming from? dr.stelzenmueller: if i had that information i probably wouldn't be sitting here but there's a general assumption in germany that the president's office is directly and copiously involved in giving orders to russian interference. the actual execution is delegated very broadly to a variety of actors. >> i can only repeat what our state prosecutors mentioned.
just like a few weeks ago he said that behind these events in montenegro, certain russian authorities were involved in a certain level. but at this point we cannot make that conclusion that putin himself was giving orders to what was going on there. senator manchin: if i could follow up with one. there, has it caused our nato allies contributing 2% to the defense spending or because of their concern of russia's aggression. i want ambassador burns to get in on this. dr. stelzenmueller: the chancellor has said we will achieve 2% by 2024 and increasing our defense budget by
8%. we are doing a lot of other hings. the proximate cause. senator: more so than the white house rhetoric? dr. stelzenmueller: the policies has enforced us a sense of urgency. ambassador burns: 20 of the 29 allies have increased defense spending. but i must say, president trump's been right to raise this issue as all of our presidents have and he has had an impact on the internal debate. canada spend 1% of their g.d.p. in defense. he has gone about it in a way that is unconventional but right to raise it. ambassador garcevic: other members of nato increased
defense spending by around $2 billion u.s. dollars. senator: senator cotton. senator cotton: this has been informing. this is one small part of russia's efforts to undermine western democracies. we exploited most of those points today. i want to respond more broadly the two myths that have professed here and the myths are that somehow president trump is weaker on russia than was president obama and somehow nato deterrence is undermined by the united states rather than by europe. let's review what's happened in the first five months of this administration. president trump has bombed a
military base in syria and shot down syrian planes and shot down iranian drones showing russia is unable to protect its two main clients in the middle east. and we are on the verge of deploying more troops where russia is meddling. and we have finally proposed a budget that increases our military spending, albeit not enough that accelerates missile defense and our domestic agencies are doing everything they can to increase oil domestic. by contrast president obama pushed the reset button six weeks after russia invaded georgia, he mocked mitt romney for calling russia our number one geo political foe. he asked in a hot mike to wait until after his election despite
bipartisan support in the congress. president obama refused to send lethal weapons to ukraine and stood by as russia returned into the middle east for the first time in syria and stood by in the 2016 election. so i would dispute the premise that somehow president obama was any tougher or stronger as against russia. second, the myth that somehow nato and deterrence is at risk because of the united states. talk is cheap. deterrence is about the military balance of power. it's not about magic words. national leaders can call a 5 are sacred, but europe's collective failure to meet the 2% goal of defense spending is underinvested in our common defense of something in the
magnitude of $120 billion. vladimir putin can see the reality of what national leaders hink about our common defense. moreover, it's known that russia is in violation of a treaty and open skies treaty that european leaders continue to resist the trump's administration's efforts to bring russia back into compliance with those treaties. the gorm and foreign minister has protested the russian sanctions bill that passed the senate because germany does business with russian companies in the construction of the pipeline, which they shouldn't be building in the first place if they are worried about russia and want to deter russia in europe. the german foreign minister said the goal isn't likely to be attained and don't make
promises. he is right. germany increased its budget by 8%. this year, it is proposed to be increased by 4%. a poll suggested that a majority of germans oppose such an increase. fromalarmingly, a pew poll last month asked europeans if russia got into a conflict with one of its neighboring countries, do you think our country should or should not use military force. the dutch said 72%, yes. 23% no. that is great for the dutch. poles and americans very proud of our country. canada, 58-31%. spain, 46%-to 46%. brits, 45--43.
germany 43%. my remarks are focused on germany and you are the subject matter expert on that country, what is the matter with germany? dr. stelzenmueller: thank you for your questions and for your remarks. i already said that i'm not a fan of the pipeline project and i think the number of many of my german expert friends agree with me. there is debate about the use of this project politically. on the german defense budget, i think, again, i can only reiterate what chancellor merkel has said who is likely to win the election, germany is on course.
anybody who has ever looked at defense budgets and attempted to increase them knows how many complications there are in expanding forces. we would have to double our defense budget to do this. but i can assure you from my personal experience, many conversations last week in berlin, we are racing to do this. last week or two weeks ago i was on a stage together with the german chairman -- equivalent of the joint chiefs at the bidding of the defense ministry to explain why they have to work faster more flexibly to accomplish the promises that we have made to nato. i assure you that this was a very serious discussion. it has not escaped you that we are in an election and gabrielle is in the opposite party and he
has to say these things. he has said other things. first time he went to moscow he told his counterpart that he did not believe in the post-western world spoken of at the munich conference. we stand by the idea of the west and western alliances and that this is a question of shared values and not geo political location. as for the poll, i'm unhappy about that as you are. maybe that is also rooted in our cultural memory of the cold war. i'm old enough to remember the cold war that we knew if the article 5 came to pass, there would be three weeks of conventional warfare and then move to nuclear and my country would be a heap of ashes. i think that is a memory that informs that kind of judgment. but i know that german
politicians of all parties have made it clear beyond a shadow of a doubt to moscow and to the kremlin and mr. putin himself that any violation of article 5 will have us all standing there one, as allies to defend an ttack on nato territory. senator: can you tell me what you believe has been the impact of our reputation with our allies in europe in particular as a result of this administration's failure to acknowledge that russia attempted to manipulate the election of the president of the united states and if believe there has been an impact in terms of our standing with our allies in europe, do you believe that is going to have an impact on our ability to protect ourselves and guard against what should be a predictable attack in our 2018 elections by rausch
yeah? ambassador burns: the basic problem is that the europeans are accustomed are looking for the united states to lead on a big issue. this is a big issue. all of us are under attack from a russian campaign but don't see the united states leading. and if you combine and this is in response to senator cotton's good question, president trump has not been on -- strong on the sanctions in ukraine. he has not spoken out on interference and very a.m. bifflent, even hostile to nato and seems to look at germany as a competitor and not an ally. if you put it all together, the first time since 1945 that europeans might see angela merkel as leader of the world, not president trump. i don't say it lightly. it's a true statement. we need to recover our
leadership role and do that by actions and on this subject it's by aligning yours self on the european sanctions. and it's by trying to raise our efenses. senator: mr. chairman and vice chairman, i appreciate you having an open hearing on this issue. the american people should have a better sense of how our reputation and standing in the global community has been impacted by our failure to acknowledge that russia attempted to manipulate an election for president of the united states. do any of the other panelists want to add? ambassador garcevic: article 5 has been invoked only once in the history of nato when the u.s. was under attack on september 11. and all allies stood up and stood behind the u.s.
and we have been in afghanistan for years now together along side fighting the same course. senator: you mentioned a couple of points about the french election and senator collins raised this point. you talked about media as a partner and their cooperation with the french government and that they were very active in verifying the factual accuracy of misinformation and you also discussed the importance of assuming that a country will be hacked and tracking hackers. . how would you propose that that would be part of the united
states? you know for example, i won't name the stations, but there are two cable networks that if you watch them at the same time on the same subject, you will hear two completely different versions of what's happening and we have a culture around the media as it relates to politics that may not be as coordinated as some of the media in europe. how would you propose, looking at the 2018 election as a goal for protecting ourselves, how would we work with the media to prevent harm or to be resilient nce we know we've been hacked? mr. sarts: facts matter. facts matter. we don't build bridges on false facts. we want to get them straight. it is very hard in a functional
democracy to have facts as a basis for it. we tend to go into different directions because of opinions and that's ok. that's what the democratic process is. but at the end of the day, all if we don't ree is have the values, democracy won't work. senator: how did the french media expose a misstatement of fact to be without factual basis? how did they expose the fake news? mr. sarts: the whole set of ways that you verify what the information is in front of them, the journalists should be very . od at it it is also the power and the
responsibility. and understand that within the responsibility of that in a democratic society to have it functional is to value the factual basis. that's the understanding upon which the french media were able to come together to actually work together. i wouldn't say there wasn't cooperation between media and the government. media cooperated in between themselves. the democratic system is based on fact. senator: i agree with that and important to value a free and independent press in order to allow them to do their job. >> senator mccain. senator mccain: ambassador, do you believe that the united states has a strategy as to how to respond to the cyber warfare we're in today?
ambassador garcevic: i think yes. senator mccain: could you tell me that strategy. ambassador garcevic: it's a very difficult question. i would say that i can see the -- egy through nato and i senator mccain:o? ambassador garcevic: when it comes to cyberattacks, as a result of the cyberattacks of a large scale when russia attacked to ia, which was supposed be -- senator mccain: didn't have anything to do with an american strategy. i was there at the opening of it. ambassador garcevic: yeah. -- think in all case thanks to -- when we found out it would be difficult at least
as far as i know, it would be difficult to clarify the case and ask for help from the u.s. like k. agencies, i would o believe that strategy exist. i can only -- i cannot comment on it because i'm not in the oop. to your embassies and diplomatic twork and at the working level, countries like montenegro . senator mccain: should we expect similar aggressive behaviors? we saw the attempt to overthrow the government of montenegro,
kosovo? osnia, ambassador garcevic: i'm sure this is just one case and i'm sure russia will continue doing similar -- something similar in our neighborhood. senator mccain: that's pretty exciting. recruited people and willing to kill people and willing to send people in uniform to kill the prime minister. it reads out of a novel. ambassador garcevic: u.s. and european partners must remain active in the region. any retreat from the region is detrimental for democracies. senator mccain: came awfully close to succeeding if we hadn't had an informant on the inside, they might have succeeded.
ambassador garcevic: in some ases ambassador garcevic: the informant was aware of the proportion of bloodshed and wouldn't happen if this action succeeded and he showed up to police to report. senator mccain: should we be concerned about that level of violence that the g.r.u. is willing to engage in in order to overthrow a free and elected government? ambassador burns: at this time is concerning. senator mccain: why haven't we heard more about it? mr. sarts: i'm quite surprised
about that as well because i think that is a very telling story that we have to reflect upon. i had one hope and hope it failed. russians like everybody else, lessons learned. i hope the lesson that they learned, it's not really that effective. and in these cases, they tend to lose what they would like to have which is a plausible deny built. senator mccain: what has been public reaction in month negro about the failed coupe? ambassador garcevic: mixed. including me. i was in the u.s. and the first reaction was a mix of feelings. that this was staged or not. whether it is true or not. but time goes on. and we we know the proportional
ambassador garcevic: planned for september. . senator mccain: talk about the reaction to what is clearly a very complex detailed plot to violently overthrow a fully elected government. >> there were political statements condemning that. there was a discussion within close circles as well as openly of what has been the parameters of it. and i would say that government's have taken very great care to look into elements of what made it and what was the plan to make adjustments for their own planning in the case of particular crisis.
senator mccain: i thank you, mr. hairman. senator reed: thank you for your service and thank you for promoting us to the best hope of fixing this problem, but i think we are the second best. i share your concern that the president has to take the lead here for obvious reasons. commander in chief, chief diplomat. there was a missed opportunity at the nato conference, forget what was said, what wasn't said, the common threat we face today, the most significant one is this deliberate action by the russians and my sense is that most immediate game changer if the president standing next to the chancellor took that
position, i assume you might have an opinion on that. ambassador burns: i was ambassador to nato and every american president has been the leader of that alliance and afffirmed that bedrock commitment and it was in the president's speech. it had devastating impact on america's leadership. what we haven't talked about today, in addition to the intelligence and judicial and political measures to take to defend against the interference n our electionseseses, we have to keep rebuilding in europe and because we are into containment of russian power. we are back into containment and this hearing exposes one of those levels. senator reed: not only the reaffirmation of article 5, but a positive statements of the
common thread of cyber against the united states. if the president could stand with the leadership of nato and prime minister of canada and many other interested parties and make that declaration, that would do us much to stop this process, is that fair? ambassador burns: it would. the immediate threat is the cyberattacks on the electoral processes. he has the opportunity. he will be in germany the week after next. at a summit hosted by chancellor merkel. there are opportunities to get back into this leadership role and try to build bridges with the european leaders. my sense is that secretary tillerson and secretary mattis direction.go in that senator reed: mr. sarts, we have had discussions about the vulnerabilities of our electoral
system, our information, social media all of these things. we know as several people have suggested that they're coming back. from your perspective are russians working on -- already working on in our case the 2016 campaign and 2018 campaign in the united states? are they going to deploy more sophisticated cyber operations against our registration and electoral systems? there have been some reports in great britain in the context of the brexit vote that there was an attack on on systems. are they already there and don't know it because of the ability to use some tools that has fallen into their hands? russians do prementtation and sometimes you see an odd pattern
and you kind of dismiss it because it has no effect. but when you look forward or rett troll expecttively and see these cases, you see that has been the test case for a particular tool. so they are doing it right now. it's not necessarily that they test it in the theater, they are going to deploy. might be a different place. so, yes, there will be elaborate, more elaborate tools both from the technical and cognitive perspective. i expect there will be more, but think the choice how to do that would be made pretty close within the circumstances of the moment. senator reed: your center for strategic communications, are you dealing with this issue in germany, for example, upcoming election, trying to help them in
the united states, trying to give advice? is nato taking the position with we hope u.s. leadership of proactively dealing with this or are you caught up in this paralysis that the united states is facing? mr. sarts: nato is putting troops in the battleics and poland. they are bombarded with disinformation, fake news. nato is taking different threats of response, practical steps, et cetera, et cetera. we as a center, we are not part of a military structure, we are run by the country that and we respond to them and if they ask and they do to give our advice, knowledge with how they can
conquer specific cases including election, we are there to support them. senator reed: my time has expired. senator: thank you for all your participation and each and every one of you. your expertise is invaluable to us. your testimony today is crucial as i shared with all of you before this panel and our ability not only to work through the current investigation that we're in but to create a road map for the appropriate committees of jurisdiction, both at home to figure out how we change elections to build defensive mechanisms or less vulnerable and working with our partners to make sure any changes, any best practices might at least be shared and offered to be implemented.
just a couple of comments. i was challenged from the beginning with the names today. i remain as challenged trying to figure out exactly what we do to stop russian interference but as we complete this process we will have a clear picture. you have been asked to submit some things. i would also ask you to think about the challenges that we've got and that you have in your respective areas of expertise and provide any additional input to us that you feel is pertinent to the decisions we'll make. ambassador burns, i go back to something that you said and what jim comey said, next time, it could be the other party. as a matter of fact, when this whole effort started, it didn't target one party or the other. theow you know that because root of when this started and it was a mere fishing expedition
that encompassed hundreds and thousands of individuals, nonprofits and organizations. it turned into a data-rich environment for russia to be involved in an election. no question, they would have been involved, but maybe not in the same direct way. they just have happened to accumulated the data. this cybersecurity issue that the world continues to deal with and try to figure out what the silver bullet is and in the end, the answer is there is not a silver bullet. the second thing is, i'm glad you admit it, you are a product of the state department and you know, i can't envision the day there would be a secretary of any state department that would be in favor of sanctions from the u.s. to a foreign entity, because it's inherent that that
makes their job tougher. but even though i don't think secretary tillerson is out there calling for russian sanctions, i wouldn't expect any secretary to do it. . t there has to be leadership and i think that's what the world is crying for right now, is for leadership. and i hope we do what we have historically done and we fill at vacuum, not because we're better at it, it's because, i think as i travel the world, the world's waiting for us to do it because we provide liability umbrellas for a lot of countries because our elections have certainty and most other elections don'ts have the length of time certainty that we do. there are things that are unique to the united states and we have
to realize how that aids our partners around the world of leveraging that certainty of u.s. elections. i believe voters in ashland, north carolina and houston, xas want the same thing want to vote just as voters in paris and berlin to have confidence in their election systemses. as the committee continues its investigation, it is clear that russian activities fell into what i would refer to as a seam. it was domestic activity by a foreign power so the intelligence community wasn't quite sure how to approach it. it involved what i might informally call pseudo government, organizations and the political parties that it confused our government's approach. lastly the intelligence community diligently avoids
political issues. so that added to the additional complexity of this problem. here's where we are today. this committee's got a charge from the leadership and that's to thoroughly review russia's meddling in the 2016 election. and the committee is committed to finishing that investigation no matter how long it takes and what the results are. i'm not sure that russia's involvement in our election will change much from our initial assessment, which was the i.c.a. that was produced by the obama administration. but what this committee can do and should do is to make sure that every american and every person globally that cares about the integrity of elections reviews what we find, embrace what's needed to assure that elections are fair and there's
no interference in the future. and that we collectively commit to make sure we carry that out. so the committee's work is itally important to how this difficult time in our history ends. but i'm confident that we can come out of this with a report that not only spells it out for those of us who are members of congress but spells it out for the american people. and our partners abroad in a way that can be understood and can be received with confidence. your contribution today has been incredibly helpful to our ability to put that report together. with that, this hearing's adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org
south korean president is visiting washington, d.c.,. he met with president trump at the white house and later he will be speaking at the center for strategic and international studies. live coverage here on c-span. and saturday night a debate on president trump's foreign policy between obama administration under secretary of state and pentagon official from the bush administration. ere's a preview. >> we'd seen the president deride judges and say that they're not important, that because they are of one