tv Natl Counterintelligence Security Director Confirmation Hearing CSPAN May 15, 2018 9:29am-10:30am EDT
so it might be a biased crime related to their lgbt identity, but we have no sense of knowing how it's then broken down. so the data -- when you start counting trans people in the first place like in other areas of the world before we can then assume that that information is actually making it. because it's not. >> okay. thanks very much. thank you again to this very powerful panel. we really appreciate it. we're going to come back in ten minutes at 2:30 for our next panel.
we are live on capitol hill this morning awaiting testimony from william ebb nina, nominated to head the national counter intelligence and security center. he has served since 2014, but congress elevated the position to require senate confirmation in 2015. he's appearing before the senate intelligence committee this morning. again, this is live coverage on c-span3. it should start in just a moment.
[ banging gavel ] i'd like to call this hearing to order. i would like to welcome our witness today, bill evanina, president trump's nominee to be director of national counterintelligence and security center or ncsce. bill, congratulations on your nomination. i would like to note that you've already served honorably as director of ncsc since june of 2014 before the position required senate confirmation necessitating this hearing. so this is a little bit out of the ordinary. i'd like to start by recognizing your family, your wife julie ann and your sons, dominic, who is 13, and will, who is 19 months
old. and currently holding down the fort at home. i had an opportunity to meet your wife and oldest son as we had breakfast this morning. and i just want to say, thank you for allowing him to serve so many years in government. and to dominique, thank you for your dad, because he does important stuff. i want you to know that. our goal in conducting this hearing is to enable the committee to consider nominee's qualifications and to allow for thoughtful deliberation by the members. director evanina has provided substantive written questions -- responses to over 55 questions provided by the committee. and today, of course, committee members will be able to ask additional questions and to hear from him in open session. director evanina graduated from wilks university and earned a master's degree in educational leadership from arcadia
university, served in government for over 23 years, including service as a supervisory special agent and assistant section chief with the federal bureau of investigation. and prior to joining ncsc, served as chief of counter espionage at the central intelligence agency. director evanina, you're being asked to lead this agency during a period of significant and wide-ranging counterintelligence threats against our nation. i'm hopeful that moving forward, you'll be an influential and forceful advocate for those foreign intelligence tools you believe are necessary to keep our citizens safe while protecting americans' privacy. as i've mentioned to others during this nomination hearing, i can assure you that this committee will faithfully follow its charter and conduct vigorous and real-time oversight of the intelligence community, its operations and its activities. we'll ask difficult and probing questions of you, your staff and we expect honest, complete and timely responses.
i look forward to supporting your nomination and ensuring consideration without delay. thank you again for being here. i look forward to your testimony and i now recognize the vice chairman. >> thank you, mr. chair. i want to echo the chairman's remarks and welcome bill evanina today. obviously, bill, 22-year veteran of the fbi. director of the national counterintelligence and security center. as the chairman mentioned, you've had this job for four years, but we thought it was so important that we made it senate-confirmed, so you getting to through your if first confirmation hearing process. you're obviously no stranger to this committee and all of the members on the committee. you've briefed us many times. and i think you bring remarkable skills to this position. and my question today, i want to focus on two issues. one is security clearances. and this hearing -- this committee has had a couple hearings on that subject, both open and closed. we all know that dni is the
government's security executive agent, and you as the dni's point person have to take the lead on that. as you've acknowledged, and i think this committee internationally has acknowledged, the current system is broken. 740,000-person backlog. costs too much. takes too long. way too complex. we've had lots of testimony about continuous evaluation, better use of technology, trying to knock down on the dod side. a big amount of that backlog. i'd like this morning to view that in a little more detail and provide us any update. the second issue that i want to focus on will be your role to oversee the counterintelligence security activities across the u.s. government, particularly in regards to some of our near peer nation state adversaries, russia, china, the hole that society approaches. i believe particularly the challenge posed by china in terms of its acquisition of our
technology secrets and their penetration of starting at early-stage companies, the penetration of universities, and some of the companies that this committee has highlighted in the past. we're going to need to up our game on that. so i look forward to your testimony on that subject, as well. thank you, mr. chairman. i look forward to the witness's testimony. >> thank you, mr. chairman. bill, could i ask you to stand and raise your right hand? do you solemnly swear to give the committee the whole truth -- the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you god? >> i do. >> please be seated. director, before we move to your statement, i'll ask you five standard questions that the committee poses to each nominee who appears before us. they just require a simple yes or no answer. do you agree to appear before the committee here or in other venues when invited? >> yes. >> if confirmed, do you agree to send officials from your office to appear before the committee and designate staff when
invited? >> yes. >> do you agree to provide documents or any other materials requested by the committee in order to carry out its oversight and legislative responsibilities? >> yes. >> will you ensure that your office and your staff provide such materials to the committee when requested? >> yes. >> and fifth, do you agree to inform and fully brief to the fullest extent possible all members of the committee on all intelligence activities, rather than just the chairman and the vice chairman? >> yes. >> thank you very much. we'll now proceed to your opening statement. afterwards, i'll recognize members by seniority for five minutes. bill, the floor is yours. >> thank you, senator. chairman, vice chairman, members, i have issued a statement for the record, which i would like to be added to the record, and i'll have some brief comments. it's an honor to appear with you today to consider my nomination to be the first director of the
national counterintelligence security center. it's also an honor and privilege that this congress has decided this position to be important enough to make it a senate-confirmed position. i'm also honored that the president and director of national intelligence, dan coates, have the trust and confidence in me to fulfill this position. i would like to express my gratitude to my family. my father john, my mother barbara, my brother steven, my sister tanya. most especially, to my wife julie ann and my sons dominic and will. lastly, i would like to thapg the women and men of the national counterintelligence security center who are dedicated professionals and their successes have made ncsc the global leader in counterintelligence and security. mr. chairman, i was born and raised in pennsylvania, a small blue collar town just north of scranton. there through my family and friends i won the value of integrity, hard work and service to others. one of those neighbors was gene
owe murlly, private first class in the army during world war ii. he was awarded the medal of honor, two purple hearts and a bronze star for his heroic activities in the battle of the bulge. spending time with him and other role models, i learned the value of character, citizenship and service. and we should never take our democracy or freedom for granted. mr. chairman, i am proud to be a career public servant. i've been in federal service for over 29 years, 22 of which is a proud member of the fbi. i've held a wide spectrum of positions in the fbi, chief of central intelligence agency's counter espionage group. the threat we face from adversaries is progressive, insistent and requires constant mitigation from our sector. the most prominent will continue to be russia and china, however, iran, north korea and others are
prominent with their intent and increasing capabilities. i believe the aggressive russian intelligence services will continue their efforts to interfere and create distrust in our democratic processes, encourage anti u.s. political views and weaken our u.s. partnerships and european allies. china's utilization of intelligence services and nontraditional collectors to advance their national development continues to place our national security at risk. the u.s. must continually and aggressively respond to china's systemic theft of u.s. technology, trade secrets, proprietary data, research and development across our u.s. economy. mr. chairman, i proffer today that our economic security is our national security. mr. chairman, historically, the mitigation of these national security threats lay solely at the feet of the intelligence community and federal law enforcement. to successfully thwart the
threats of the complexity we see not only requires a government approach but a whole country approach. mr. chairman, insider threats are a pernicious intelligence vulnerability we face every day. lowell never eliminate the possibility of a bad actor within our walls, we continue to strive toward enhanced technical and behavioral solutions to prevent catastrophic damage, as well as develop creative solutions to prevent and deter this activity. mr. chairman, as you and the vice chairman are fully aware, our government security clearance process is outdated and inefficient. and is currently undergoing a comprehensive overhaul. we plan and will develop and implement a process that results in the expeditious on boarding of qualifying u.s. citizens both in the government and cleared industry with agility and reciprocity. at the same time, we must not reduce the quality of the investigations to ensure that we are bringing on a quality, highly trusted work force to protect our secrets.
if confirmed, and as the executor of the di a's role, i am committed to leading this effort in partnership with the office of personal management, the office of management and budget and department of defense. mr. chairman, i'm humbled. if confirmed, i would become the first senate confirmed director representing the men and women of the ncsc. as well, i will represent the men and women who have tolled for decades in the counterintelligence security field. they do so to protect our people, our data, our secrets and our nation. chairman burr, advice chairman warner, members of the committee, thank you again for your consideration of my nomination. i look forward to your questions. >> bill thank you very much for your testimony. the chair would recognize himself and then the vice chairmen and members by seniority for up to five minutes of questions. bill, we've talked about it before. leaks of classified information
put sensitive sources and methods at risk, and cause irreparable damage to our national security. congress took action accordingly. and the fisa amendments reauthorization act of 2017 by imposing enhanced penalties on those convicted of unauthorized disclosures. if confirmed, how do you plan to address insider threats and the security of sensitive and classified information? >> mr. chairman, thank you for that question. and i will concur that the unauthorized disclosure of classified information are not only traumatic to the secrets that we lose as a country, but they're also harmful and insidious to the men and women who serve to protect them every day. if confirmed, i will continue to work with my federal law enforcement partners, both at the fbi and department of justice to enhance not only the investigations but the penalties for such unauthorized disclosures, as well as with the intelligence community to enhance their ability to identify unauthorized disclosures within their walls
and provide the most effective and efficient monitoring and provide information where that information -- to the department of justice and the fbi for prosecution. >> good. foreign counterintelligence threats to our government supply chain continue to increase, and china has become a big part of these threats. in your experience in counterintelligence, both at ncsc and in your prior positions at cia and the bureau, how is china's counterintelligence threat grown, and what should we be concerned with? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i do believe china is one of the gravest concerns that we have moving forward as a nation with respect to our economic security. china's utilization to increase their economic and military development is problematic. the utilization of nontraditional collectors here in the united states, engineers, scientists, students of school and their ability to -- from a
cyber- cyber-enabled perspective continues to allow the u.s. to not only lose positions, jobs, research in funding, as well as provide first to market capability to the chinese and take our ingenuity and give trade secrets away. >> in your response to the committee's questions, you stated that some of the greatest challenges to ncsc include conducting effective and sustained outreach to federal partners, research labs and the private sector, as well as securing funding for supply chain risk management. what are the plans for improving our government's supply chain risk management? >> thank you, mr. chairman. supply chain mitigation efforts are nothing new to the u.s. however in the last couple years, they have become increasingly problematic. what ncsc does is provide that sliver of counterintelligence aspect to the who and why is
implementing and mitigating our supply chain, our adversaries, and we provide and work in partnership with the nontitle 50 organizations, general services administration, the labs, the weapons labs, d.o.e. labs, to provide awareness and what the threat is to help them mitigate from their perspective and protect data from leaving their facilities. >> i thank you for that. and i want to encourage you that in the role of director, please continue to focus on that greatly. this committee has been extremely involved in supply chain concerns that we have, and it seems to slip through the cracks from a jurisdictional standpoint in congress. and for that fact, in government. vice chairmen. >> thank you, mr. chairman. bill, i want to start with clearance reform. i think you'll recall when we had the hearings, bipartisan complete agreement, the system is broken. 740,000-plus on the backlog. this is a security risk.
this is an economic risk in terms of our ability to then brief companies. i was very concerned that we invited all the relevant parties to testify. omb chose not to. i would like you to give us an update on whether omb is on the team now in trying to make this a priority, and we had had such discussion that that large number, backlog, you were going to be able to cut a dramatic amount of that backlog back in a relatively short time line. can you give us an update on that? >> thank you vice chairmen warner. yes, subsequent to the process back in march and our trusted work force initiative, with our partners, office of management and budget, opm and dod, as well as a host of organizations and departments, we have been working diligently to provide this committee and the government with two specific things. number one, a dramatic reduction of the backlog. and number two, the development of a new business process of how we will vet qualified citizens in the u.s. in an agile,
expeditious manner. with respect to the question of the backlog, we are in the final stages of paper for the dni to issue that's being coordinated through the intergovernment process right now, which i believe with some dramatic changes to how we currently do the business process of investigations, once implemented will probably get us to a position we could estimate probably 20% reduction to the backlog within six months. >> only 20% in six months? that's a little less ambitious than i think we discussed earlier. and is omb part of the process at this point? >> omb is a major part of the process. again, the four main individuals are omb, opm, dod and odni. >> and will these new business processes include reciprocity and come -- standards between government and our contractors? >> yes, sir. >> again, my hope would be -- since i understand a lot of these were on the secret level,
on the dod side, there was an ability to take, i thought, a much greater percentage of that backlog down with administrative action and then on an ongoing forward basis, i would hope we could see a reduction greater than 20%. that would us down move from 740,000 to half a million still doesn't do very well for the end of this calendar year. >> i agree with you and concur. i think some of the contingencies will be predicated upon the transfer of the inventory to dod on how that impacts the planned mitigation efforts. we do not have an effective algorithm for that at this moment. we are excited that 20% is probably a conservative number. >> and the question of counter intelligence with china, i was members of this committee raised concerns about certain of the chinese telecom companies and penetration into the american market. was pleased the president acted on one of those companies, ate.
now it appears that is simply a bargaining chip in negotiations with china. i don't think that is the appropriate way if this is a security threat, it's a security threat and needs to be dealt with as such, not as a bargaining chip in terms of greater trade negotiations. my concern, as well is that we are asking purchasers of equipment local government private sector we're asking others who are in the community and others to understand the threat of china but i don't believe we can fully brief that threat if they don't have appropriate security clearances within their own institutions. another challenge that comes out of the backlog issue. how do we -- how will we be able to move aggressively on having a standardized briefed to universities, tech companies, vcs on the real threat of china and will that brief -- i would think it would have to be some
parts classified as well as unclassified. >> i would concur. over the last two years, we've made progress with the fbi and dhs in advice and awareness and threat to not known academia and industry from china and other nation states. we will continue to do that and work with the associations and i concur with your point that i think the private sector leadership at the ceo level needs to be more active in terms of ob staining clearances so that information that is classified can get to them in a more efficient manner. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to pick up mr. evanina on the vice chairman's point with respect to zte specifically. thank you for the visit we had in our office. now in 2012, the house intelligence committee issued a nonclassified by partisan report on national security issues
posed by the chinese telecom companies. one of them was zte. the report concluded that the risks associated with zte's provision of equipment to u.s. critical infrastructure could undermine american national security interests. do you agree with that bipartisan report? >> senator, i do. >> now, they recommended that the united states should view with suspicion the continued penetration of the u.s. telecommunications market by zte. do you agree with that? >> yes. >> now, i appreciate the response. the president's comment over the weekend about zte i think obviously raises extraordinary national security questions as well as economic policy concerns. so if you're confirmed, i hope you're going to stand up to the white house on this issue and let me ask something with
respect to where things stand now. what are the national security implications of giving zte sanctions relief? >> well, senator wyden, i'm not particularly up to speed with the sanctions with regard to specifically the zte. i will say that the intelligence community and federal law enforcement is on the record with this committee and the american people with respect to the threat posed by china telecom. >> but as a general proposition, giving sanctions relief to a company liking this where there has been a bipartisan nonclassified report as a general proposition, that strikes me as a mistake from a counter intelligence standpoint, from a cyber security standpoint, from an economic policy standpoint, so just tell me as a general proposition whether you would agree with that. >> well, senator, i would agree
that we counsel continue to provide the policymakers in this body with the relevant intelligence information to have effective policy. >> that's not the question i'm asking. set aside zte. as a general proposition, does that raise the concerns i mentioned, economics, national security, cyber security, seems to me it's pretty low hanging fruit here to say yes. >> well, senator, again, i'm not up to speed with the sanctions per se with your reference. so i would have to continue with -- we will continue advising reform with intelligence threat to polesmakers who want to employ those sanctions. >> what has been learned again from a counter intelligence standpoint since the opm breach? obviously, that affected an extraordinary number of americans. i would hope that that would be seen as a wake-up call and there would be some substantive changes. what has been learned?
what has changed since the breach? >> thank you for that question, senator wyden. i think the biggest opm reflection is that i think we learned as a country that nothing is off-limits from foreign adversary attack here, specifically in our 50 organizations and our country and government as a whole. the intelligence community is no longer just the target and victim of adversaries that as a country we need to be aware of our trade secrets and epii. >> let me ask you one another question about encryption. obviously, counter intelligence risks are not limited just to classified systems. extremely politically sensitive information is conveyed every day by government officials and members of congress over unsecured phones. should the intelligence community recommend that policy makers encrypt their unclassified phone conversations? >> yes, senator. >> okay.
thank you. i hope that you will think some more about this matter that has been raised by zte. i can understand why you might not want to comment about a specific company. but i'm telling you as a general proposition, this ought to be an enormous alarm bell from the standpoint of counter intelligence, cyber security and economics. so i hope you'll think more about that. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. evanina for being here. would you ever use a zte phone. >>. >> i would not. >> would you recommend anyone in any sort of position that's sensitive whether in commerce or government or contracting use that phone. >> into no, i would not. >> so it's not exaggeration to -- there's a notion by some this is hysteria, not just unique to zte but it is a fact, is it not, that china utilizes its telecommunications companies for purposes of espionage even though the leadership may not be
open to it, they don't have a chaos but to be cooperative. >> we've been on the record of that fact. >> there's an additional national security factor at play and that is that china made in china 2025 is an endeavor by the chinese government to dominate the top fields of the 21st superintendent, many of them in telecommunications, aerospace, biomedicine, et cetera. if they achieve that because they're more competitive tin because they have better ideas because they're out innovate us that's one thing. that's not how that he pursuing it. they are stealing intellectual property, reverse jer engineering the transfer of intellectual property. there is an aim on the part of the chinese government to steal the commercial intellectual property of this country in order to advance themselves into position of dominance in key fields. is that not something that is pretty clear. >> that is correct. >> that poses a national security threat because our commercial capacity like our ship building capacity is
important to military hardware and aerospace, you're technological capacity in the private sector, if we lose the high ground and another nation cheats their way into position, does that not pose a direct national security threat to the united states? >> it does. i believe our economic security is our national security. >> i want to talk about a separate topic that i don't believe has been discussed before. certainly not today. we live in an environment where false claims even ones totally preposterous can easily be spread on social media and often the media clicks on a website or ratings through outrage are quick to jump on it. i raise that because of the concept of something called deep fakes. are you familiar with that term. >> i'm not. >> the ability to manipulate sound images or video to make it appear a certain person did thing they didn't do. these are increasingly
realistic. the quality is the increasing due to artificial intelligence machine learning algorithms are paired with facial mapping software make it easy and cheap to insert someone's face an into a video and produce a video of someone saying or doing something they never said or did. this technology something widely available on the internet and people have used it for all sorts of nefarious purposes. you can only imagine what a nation state could do with that technology. if we could imagine foreign intelligence agency could use deep fakes to produce a fake video of an american politician using a racial epithet or taking a bribe or anything of that nature. they could use a fake video of a u.s. soldier massacring civilians over seas, a u.s. official admitting a secret plan to do some conspiracy theory of some kind, a fake video of an
official discussing some sort of impending disaster that could so panic and imagine a compelling video like this produced on the eve of an election or a few days before a major public policy decision with a culture that's already has already a kind of a built-in bias towards believing outrageous things, a media quick to promulgate it and spread it. and, of course, the social media where you can't stop its spread. i believe that this is the next wave of attacks against america and western democracies is the ability to produce fake videos that are -- can only be determined to be fake after extensive analysis and by then the election is over and millions of americans have seen an image they want to believe anyway because of their preconceived bias against that individual. you've never heard of that term. is there any work being done anywhere in the u.s. government to begin to confront the thread that will be posed in my view by the ability to produce the
realistic looking fake video and audio that could be used to cause all sorts of chaos and in our country? >> thank you for that question. the answer is yes, the intelligence community and law enforcement is actively working to not only only understand the capability of adversaries but what we may face going forward particularly with the election there fall as well as in 2020. >> mr. evanina, welcome. the dod has recently banned sales of zte phones at military exchanges as well as equipment. last month, the commerce department banned china smartphonemaker zte from using u.s. technology after it illegally shipped u.s. goods to both iran and to north korea. this comes after numerous intelligence community warnings that zte poses a major cyber security threat yet as we saw
this week, president trump announced he is working with the chinese president to give zte "a way to get back into business fast." do you assess that zte represents an economic or security threat to the united states? >> thank you for that question, senator. i believe the intelligence community and law enforcement is clearly on the record both in the public and. classified settings with the threat from chinese telecommunications companies. >> are you concerned that from a counter intelligence perspective that -- does it make sense to overrule the advice and judgment of the national security community anton offer zte a way to get back into business fast? >> thank you, senator. i believe our role in the intelligence community and the could you teller intelligence community is provide the relevant facts of the issue and the investigations to the policymakers for their decision making processes. >> how are you raising those facts with this white house? >> we are garnering the support of the entire intelligence community and regulatory community. i think we've had meet there is yesterday at the white house.
>> if china believes that we are willing to use national security matters as bargaining chips and trade negotiations, how do you think that will impact their behavior moving forward? >> senator, thank you for that question. i'm not an expert on the diplomatic processes. our national security is first and foremost in our perspective and the whole country approach posed by china clearly makes it difficult for us to bifurcate the issues. >> two months ago, dhs and fbi issued a rare public alert about a large scale russian cyber campaign targeting the u.s. power grid and other critical infrastructure with an intent to extract information and potentially lay a foundation for future offensive operations. this alert went further than past alerts. confirming russia as the culprit and including indicators of compromise and a list of detection and prevention measures. what's happened since may of
2018 or sorry, march of this year when the alert went out and is this russian cyber campaign ongoing in. >> senator, thank you for that question. i would agree that pervasive threat from a cyber perspective by the russian government continues today and will in the future. the federal government specifically the intelligence community federal law enforcement and dhs, work with the private sector every day. we brought in not only department of energy but major companies in the fuel, gas and oil to give them a one day read in of the threat and so we could help them mitigate those issues back in their home facilities. >> did that include utilities, as well. >> it did. >> are you see a greater sense of urgency on the part of utility companies and other energy institutions to utilizes this new information? >> yes. >> are we getting utility leadership through the clearance process fast enough? >> i'm not sure about that.
i have to get back with respect to the speed. >> that's another concern. i know senator warner brought up the overall issue. one of the things that we have heard on the energy and natural resources committee is that even former members of congress who served on the intelligence relevant intelligence committee can't get through that process. if we don't have partners read in on the other side it, makes it very difficult for those utilities and those other energy institutions to actually implement the changes that they need to implement. >> thank you, senator. i believe working closely with dhs, they are working to provide a process to get individuals and companies cleared so they can receive this threat information on a realtime basis. >> you said that continuous evaluation is not the future. it's now and that the government honestly has not done a good job. industry is able to conduct continuous evaluation of their employees. why has it been difficult for
the government to do so and what can we do about that? >> thank you for that question. continuous evaluation has been a constant bedrock in the community for years. we've been asked to do it through the auspices to provide a robust continuous evaluation program for the rest of the executive branch. we have done that, probably 0% complete ahead of schedule. hope to be complete by the end of the year. we are expecting to have 20 plus agencies and 100,000 federal employees outside the intelligence community enrolled into our continuous evaluation plan. >> thank you, mr. evanina. thank you, mr. chair. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much. thanks for being here and going through there process. thank you for your years of service. leading up to there. it's valuable for the country. you make several interesting statements in your opening statement and written statement that i want to ask you to drill down deeper on. you made the statement, a growing set of threat actors are capable of using cyber operations to remotely access
traditional intelligence targets as well as a broader set of u.s. targets including critical infrastructure and supply chain often without attribution. what are you recommending there? you're making a statement and a recommendation. >> i believe that we as a nation need to be more in the true public private partnership with those in our country hon actually make things and our utility companies, engineering, telecommunications, financial networks that are the red bedrock of our nation. the government needs to partner so athletic understand the threat and provide efforts to help mitigate that threat. >> what does that look liking? >> public private partnership 1234 are you talking about government dictating how this would work in private industry and the private industry sets a set of standards from this? is that dhs? what entity does that and where does that is happen efficiently? >> i believe that's a combination starting with dhs. we provide that sliver of
counter intelligence threat to not only the dhs and department of energy but as well as all those companies so they can understand what's happening and help other federal organizations and regulators provide mitigation to those. i believe that those companies out there providing those services don't understand the threat and how it's manifested and can't be in an effective position to prevent it. >> what's the best way to get information about the threat? if i'm a pipeline company in oklahoma, what's the way to the determine the real threats coming at me? >> through the department of energy and the ferc, regulator for that organization. we work closely to provide threat information and the process is effective. >> talk to me about hiring and retaining individuals for the team. you've got a lot of competition getting some of the best folks. we've got incredible patriots there because of their love for the country and the respect for the rule of law. what are you seeing for hiring and retaining individuals for the future? >> thank you, senator. i'm pretty aware that the
intelligence community continues to attract the right type of amazing u.s. citizens for the jobs. i believe that our mission in the intelligence community will win the day. the challenge is getting this em in the door as we spoke of. i believe mission will keep them in for long periods of time. the security clearance process has been the undergoing of the business process reengineering will help get us the individuals in the door more expeditious not only in the government but the private sector and industry, as well. >> you had a nice long hesitation on the security process. which all of us have incredible frustrations with at this desk and those that are doing the hiring. what is the right length of time to be able to get through a security clearance? we do a good security clearance. right now it's a ridiculous amount of time. what's the right amount of time. >> i believe that the secret clearance and blows primarily the department of defense, we should be able to clear 80 or
90% of those within 30 days. >> how long will it take to get to that spot do you think? >> again, with my partners watching closely, i would have to say within the next two years as official policy and implementation. it's more complicated on a top secret level as you're aware working on those metrics as well. >> most people are not going through the top secret level starting out through the clearance. i think a 30-day, 45-day is a reasonable apartment of time to go through a clearance. what is the time right now. >> closer to 100 days. >> and for many people in excess of that. that's a major issue for us. you also make some interesting comments about the election security in your opening statement and your written statement. your concerns continue to rise about a russian threat towards our election security and we're partnering with dhs. my question is not about the threat. it's about how we're responding to it. what's the current level of
cooperation between you and dhs preparing for those threats? because dhs has the lead. >> they've been a great partner. direct interface with the state and locals which elections are local. we've been working closely with them bringing the entire intelligence community to service dhs and provide real up to date threat information like never before so that dhs can manifest that information and provide the strategies for all elections at the local level. >> cooperation and communication between dhs and you all are consistent right now? >> that's correct. >> i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. evanina, welcome. delighted to have you here today and appreciate the service that you've provided. first i want to associate myself with senator rubio's comments. i think the and emphasize one point. he talked about the deep fake, being able to create an
alternative reality. if you add to that the power of social media, it's a perfect storm of disinformation because you can create the false reality and then you can circulate it in a way that's hard to counteract to find, to see. if somebody puts a negative ad about you on television, you can put up your own add to rebut it. in this case you're chasing smoke, e-mails, facebook, twitter, it's difficult. this is a very serious challenge and that brings me to your comment on page -- on question 16 of the prehearing questions. you said i remain concerned we may still be underestimating russian capabilities and plans to influence the 2018 midterm and future elections. that's a chilling statement. could you elaborate on that a bit? >> thank you, senator. i would say that i don't think anyone in my profession or the intelligence community will underestimate the potential of the russian federation, vladimir
putin and their capabilities but more importantly their intent. from what we saw in the last ha election cycle, the capabilities are clearly there. your first statement regarding the deep fake, that serves as an opportunity for us in the federal government to provide enhanced training and awareness of the deep fake and maybe an opportunity to partner, the private sector and social media companies to understand the capabilities of add ser varies on our networks. >> the ultimate defense is for our public to understand whether he they're being couldn't for them to be -- to realize that this where this is coming from and i think he sources are very important. on you mentioned about the capabilities of the russians and their intent. do you have any doubt about the accuracy of the january, 2017 report of the intelligence community on the russian activities in the 2016 election. >> >> i do not.
>> thank you. i also want to emphasize a point made several times before. the clooerns backlog is a problem. i can't find out a single point, the single point in the united states government in charge of solving this problem i know it's not you but you're in a key position. i believe that in order to solve it, it's going to take, and i keep hearing whole of government. i think that means none of government. somebody's got to be in charge. i hope that you urge the celebration, the ic, dni, to take charge of this issue so that it's not scattered all over the government because we've got to solve it. we had system something like 950,000 security clearances in backlog. we're losing good people. there's an opportunity cost there. and it is unacceptable in terms of our ability to defend the country. i hope you will take on as part
of your mission pushing for the organizational response to this where there's some central responsibility and accountability for this. >> thank you, senator. the government look at the director of national intelligence as a secure executive agent for this process and i believe through executive order that he is accountable for the policies set forth how we conduct investigations. by virtue of his executor of that program, i believe that responsibility lies with me. >> when i was in business, i always tried to formulate contracts and relationships so that you will one throat to choke. and that was the way you could get things done. on this question of cyber security and the attacks on our country, in my view and the view of many of us in this committee and other committees one of the fundamental problems with our response to this is that it's purely defensive. that we're simply trying to patch our way out of this
problem and that there is no deterrent. there is no cyber doctrine or strategy that will deter our adversaries and make them think twice. we had testimony before armed services from the head of the nsa nothing we have done would "change the calculus of our adversarieses." do you believe this is an area we need more work in and develop a public deterrent strategy so those who is intend to attack us through cyber just as they do through kinetic believe that they will and will certainly pay a price? >> i do sir. >> could you expand on that a bit? >> i believe we in two aspects of that. i think our adversaries need to know our policy is real and it will manifest itself in their home base so they understand it. more importantly, we owe it to the american people for them to understand that the government has policies and procedures in place to protect them, protect
private industry from the cyber threats we face. i concur we need to be a little bit more effective and efficient with our deterrence policies. >> i hope you'll help us develop that strategy. otherwise, we're just going to continue to be chipped away at again, we're looked on as a kind of free lunch in this regard. thank you. i appreciate your testimony. >> thank you, if senator. >> i just want to echo what are senator king has said that we need that. i was again disappointed that it appears the national security council is now trying to eliminate the position in the white house we direct report to the president. that doesn't accepted the right signal. thank you very much, bill for your testimony. look forward to working with you. >> thank you. >> i was questioning whether senator king is going to be quoted from there hearing about a cyber doctrine or one throat to choke. i know which way it's going to go. >> i realized i was taking that
risk as the words were leaving my -- >> i think we have exhausted questions. director, thank you. i thank your family again for your willingness to serve. let me note for members qfrs are required before the end of business today. it is my intent to move the director out of committee next week so that we can get this to the floor as quickly as we can. with that, again, our thanks for your service. this hearing is adjourned.
one, two, three. thank you. >> thank you. >> if you missed any of this hearing, you can see it in its entirety at c-span.org type senate intelligence committee in the search bar. we are going to remain live on capitol hill now. the senate health committee is meeting today taking testimony on drug pricing. this is live coverage on c-span3.
>> yeah. it's the intent of the program and this is also in a house report that accompany the legislation was the to enable participating entities known as covered entities to stretch scarce federal resources to provide more comprehensive service. >> that would be like hospitals formatters like that, is that correct. >> federal grantees like federally qualified health centers. >> 19,000 of them as of this year. >> yes, with 46,000 sites. >> the pricing of the pharmaceuticals is done by the pharmaceutical company that sells them to the hospital, providers of the hospitals. is there a middle man they go through? doo threw go through a benefit manager or insurance company or does it go directly to the hospital? >> from the hospital to the. >> yeah, the, the covered entities -- there are certain restrictions how they purchase the drugs. for exam t