tv Natl Counterintelligence Security Director Confirmation Hearing CSPAN May 15, 2018 12:18pm-1:14pm EDT
>> we did have to leave this hearing with smoky robinson and other artists as the house was in for a short time. we will have it in our video library at c-span.org. if you did catch the few minutes we did have to break away or watch from the beginning. about a two hour 15 minute hearing. this is coverage on c-span. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c., and around the country. c-span is brought to you by
your cable or satellite provider. >> the nominee to lead the national counterintelligence and security center testified before the senate intelligence committee this morning. his confirmation hearing ran about an hour. >> i'd like to call our hearing to order. like to welcome our welcome today. bill evanina, president trump's nominee to be director of national counterintelligence and security center, ncsc.
bill, congratulations on your nomination. senator burr: i'd like to note you served honorably at ncsc since june, 2014, before it required senate confirmation. this is a little bit out of the ordinary. i'd like to start by recognizing your family, your wife, julie ann and sons dominick, 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 any years in government and to dominick, 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 allow for thoughtful deliberation by members he. director evanina has provided written questions -- responses to over 55 questions presented 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 wilkes university and earned a masters degree in education and leadership from arcadia university. he's served in government for over 23 years, including service as supervisory special agent and assistant section chief for federal bureau of investigation and prior to oining ncsc served as chief of counterespionage 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 will be an influential and forceful advocates for those tools necessary to keep our citizens safe while protecting americans' privacy. as i mentioned to others during this nomination hearing, i can assure you 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 like forward to supporting your nomination and ensuring consideration without delay. thank you, again, for your nomination. i now recognize the vice chairman. vice chairman: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to echo and welcome bill evanina today. viously, bill, 2-year at the f.b.i. as chairman mentioned, you had this job for four years but we thought it was so important that we made it senate
confirmed so you get to go through your first confirmation hearing process. senator warner: you're obviously no stranger to this committee and all of the members on the committee. you briefed us many times. remarkable ring skills. i want to bring up two issues. one is security clearances. hearing on this. you as the d.n.i. point person has to take the lead on that as you acknowledged the current ystem is broken. 740,000 backlog. takes too much. way too complex. we've had lots of testimony about continuous evaluation, better use of technology, trying to knock down on the d.o.d. side a big amount of
that backlog. i'd like this morning to add a little more details and provide us update. the second issue that i want to your role l be across the u.s. government particularly with regard to some of our near pier nation state adversaries, russia, china, their whole society approaches. i believe particularly the challenge posed by china in terms of its acquisition of our technology secrets and their penetration starting at early stage companies. penetration of universities. and some of the companies 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' testimony. senator burr: bill, do you solemnly give the committee the whole truth, nothing but the
truth so help you god? lease be seated. director, before we move to your statement, i'll ask you five standard questions that each nominee, they require a answer.es or no if confirmed, do you agree to send officials from your office to appear before the committee and designate staff when invited? mr. evanina: yes. senator burr: do you agree to provide materials in order to carry out its oversight and legislative responsibilities? mr. evanina: yes. senator burr: will you ensure your office will provide such materials to the committee when requested? mr. evanina: yes. senator burr: and do you agree to brief all members of the committee on all intelligence activities rather than just the chairman and the vice chairman? mr. evanina: yes. senator burr: thank you very
much. we'll proceed to your opening statement. ill, the floor is yours. mr. evanina: i've issued a statement 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 and security center, ncsc. it's an honor and bridge that this congress has decided this position to be important enough to make it a senate confirmed position. i'm also honored the president and director of national intelligence, dan coates, have the trust and congress in me to fulfill this position. i'd like to express my gratitude to my family, my father, john, my mother, barbara, my brother, stephen, my sister, tanya, and
particularly my wife, julieanne, and my sons dominic and will. and also the men and women of ncsc. mr. chairman, i was born and raised in peckville, pennsylvania, a small blue collar town just north of scranton. there through my family and friends i learned the value of integrity, hard work, and service to others. ne of those neighbors was gino merli, private first class in the u.s. 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 mr. merli and other role models growing up, 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 have bean in federal service
for over 29 years, 22 of which a proud member of the f.b.i. i've healed a wide spectrum of positions in the f.b.i., and as you mentioned, chief of the counterespionage group. mr. chairman, the threat we face from our adversaries is progressive, persistent, and requires constant mitigation by our government and private sector. most prominent will be russia and china. however, iran, north korea, others are prominent with their intent and increasing capabilities. i believe the aggressive ruran intelligence services will continue to interview and create distrust in our democratic processes, encourage anti-u.s. political vupes, weaken partnerships with european allies. china with nontraditional collectors continue to place our national security at risk. the u.s. must continually and aggressively respond to china's
systematic theft to u.s. technology, trade secrets, proprietary data, research and development across wide areas of the u.s. economy. 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. i proffer today that to successfully thwart the threats and the complexity of that we see, not only requires a whole government approach but a whole country approach. mr. chairman, insider threats are a vulnerability we face every day. although we will never eliminate 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's security
clearance process is outdate and inefficient and is currently undergoing a comprehensive overhaul. we plan and will develop and implement a process of the onboarding of qualified u.s. citizens both in the government and in 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 executive of the d.n.i.'s role of security executive agency, i'm pleased to work with this partnership with the office of personnel management, office of management and budget, department of defense. i will be the first confirmed director representing the ncsc. as well as i'll represent the men and women who have told for decades in the counterintelligence security field often without attribution
and knowledge. they do so to protect our people, our data, our secrets, and our nation. chairman burr, vice chairman warner, members of the committee, thank you, again, for your consideration of my nomination. i look forward to your questions. senator burr: thank you, bill, for that testimony. the chair will recognize himself and vice chairman and members by seniority for up to five minutes of questions. bill, we talked about this before. leaks of classified information put sensitive sources and methods at risk and cause irreparable damage. congress took action accordingly. the fisa amendments re-authorization 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. evanina: mr. chairman, thank you for that question. would concur the unauthorized
disclosure of classified information are not only traumatic to the secrets that we lose as a country but they are also harmful and insidious to the men and women who serve to protect them every day. if confirmed i'll work with my federal law enforcement officers both at the f.b.i. 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 f.b.i. for investigation. become a r: china's big part of these threats. in your experience in counterintelligence both at ncsc and in your prior position at the c.i.a. and bureau, how is china's counterintelligence
threat grown and what should we be concerned with? mr. evanina: thank you, mr. chairman. i do believe china is one of the gravest concerns we have moving forward as a nation with respect to our economic security. china's utilization as a whole of government approach to increase their economic and miller development is problematic. the utilization of nontraditional collectors here in the united states, engineers, scientists, students at school and their ability to -- from a cyber enable perspective to identify and track data from research facilities continues to allow the u.s. to not only lose positions, jobs, research and funding as well as provide first to market capability to the chinese and take our ingenuity and provide -- roprietary and trade secrets away. senator burr: you stated some of the greatest challenges to ncsc is conducting 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? mr. evanina: thank you, mr. chairman. supply chain mitigation efforts are nothing new to the u.s. however, in the last couple of years they've become increasingly problematic via awareness. what ncsc does is provide the 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 organizations, general services administration, the labs, weapon labs, d.o.e. labs, provide awareness and what the threats is to help them mitigate from their perspective and protect their data from leaving their facilities? senator burr: no. i want to encourage you in the role of director, please continue to work.
this committee has been extremely involved in supply chain concerns we have and it seems to slip through the cracks and from that fact in government. vice chairman. senator warner: i want to start with clearance reform. i think you recall when we had the hearings, bipartisan 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 brief companies. i would like you to give us an update if o.m.b. is on the team and try to make this a priority and we had some discussion that that large number backlog you were going to be able to cut a democrat matic amount of that back -- dramatic amount of that backlog in a short amount of
time. mr. evanina: yes, as a matter of fact, subsequent to our process back in march and our trusted work force with our partners, o.m.b., d.o.d., host of other organizations, departments, we have been working diligently to provide this committee and the government with two specific things. number one, a dramatic reduction to the backlog. 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. at the same time to make sure they're trusted. with respect to the question on the backlog, we currently are in the final stages of paper for the d.n.i. to issue that's being coordinated through the intergovernmental process right now. i believe with some dramatic changes how we currently do the business process of investigations, once implemented will probably get us to a position we can estimate probably 20% reduction to backlog within six months. senator warner: only 20% in six
months. that's little less ambitious than we discussed earlier. is o.m.b. part of the process? mr. evanina: o.m.b. is part of the process. the four main problems are .m.b., o.p.m., d.o.d., odni. senator warner: will this process include reciprocity and common standards between the government and our contractors? mr. evanina: yes, sir. senator warner: my hope will be, since i understand a lot were on the secret level, the d.o.d. side, there was an able to take a much greater percentage of that backlog down with administrative section and going forward basis, i hope we would see a reduction greater than 20%. that would only take us down -- we move from 740,000, half a million, that still doesn't do very well at the end of this calendar year. mr. evanina: senator, i agree with you and concur. the contingencies will be predicated upon the vin tentory to d.o.d. and how that impacts
the planned mitigation efforts. we don't have an effective algorithm at the moment. we're excited 20% is probably coon serve tiff number. senator warner: on the question of counterintelligence with china, i was, again, a number of members on this committee raised concerns about certain of the china tell come companies and their penetration into the u.s. market. i was pleased that the president acted on one of those companies, a.t.e. now it appears that is simply a bargaining chip in negotiations with china. i don't think that's 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 trade negotiations. my concern as well is we are asking purchasers of equipment, private sector, we're asking others who are in the venture community and others to understand the threat of china
but i don't believe we can fully brief that threat if if they don't have appropriate security clearances within their own institutions. again, another challenge that comes out of the backlog issue. how do we -- how will we be able to move aggressively on having a standardized brief to universities, tech companies, v.c.'s on the real threat of china and will that brief -- i believe -- will be classified as well as nonclassified. mr. evanina: senator, i concur. e promulgated such awareness and threat to not only academia and industry with respect to the threat to china and other nations who are stealing our proprietary data and trade secrets. we'll continue to do that and work with the association. i concur with your point. the private sector, leadership that is at the c.e.o. level needs to be a little bit more
active in terms of obtaining security scleernses so that information that is classified can get to them in a more effective and efficient manner. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to pick up, mr. evanina, on the vice chairman's work to v.t.e. specifically, and thank you for the visit we had in our office. i thought it was very herphepful. now, in 2012 the house intelligence committee issued a nonclassified bipartisan report on national security issues posed by the chinese telecom companies. one of them was z.t.e. senator wyden: the report concluded the risks associated with z.t.e.'s provision of equipment to u.s. critical infrastructure could undermine american national security interests. do you agree with that bipartisan report? mr. evanina: senator wyden, i do. senator wyden: ok. now, they recommended that the united states should view with suspicion the continued
penetration of the u.s. telecommunications market by z.t.e. do you agree with that? mr. evanina: yes. senator wyden: now, i appreciate the response. the president's comment over the weekend about z.t.e. 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 z.t.e. sanctions relief? mr. evanina: well, senator wyden, i'm not particularly up to speed with the sanctions with regard to specifically z.t.e. i will say 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. senator wyden: but as a general proposition, giving sanctions relief to a company like this where there has been a bipartisan, nonclassified report, as a general proposition, that strikes me as a mistake from a counterintelligence standpoint, from a cybersecurity standpoint, from an economic policy standpoint. so just tell me as a general proposition whether you would agree with that? mr. evanina: well, senator, i agree we will continue to provide the policymakers with the relevant intelligence information -- senator wyden: that's not the question i'm asking. set aside z.t.e., as a general proposition, does that raise the concerns i mentioned -- economics, national security, cybersecurity? seems to me it's pretty low hanging fruit here to say yes. mr. evanina: well, senator, i'm not up to speed with the sanctions per se with your
reference so i have to continue we will continue to advise the intelligence threat with policymakers that want to employ those sanctions. senator wyden: let me ask a question. what has been learned from a counterintelligence standpoint from the o.p.m. breach? obviously that affected an extraordinary number of americans. i would hope 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 o.p.m. breach? mr. evanina: thank you for that question, senator wyden. i think the biggest o.p.m. reflection, i think we learned as a country nothing is off-limits from foreign adversary attack here. specifically in our nontitle 50 organizations and our country and our government as a whole. the intelligence community's no longer just the target and victim of adversaries. that as a country we need to be aware of our proprietary data, trade secrets, mpii.
senator wyden: let me ask you one question about encryption. obviously counterintelligence risks are not limited to classified systems. information itical over unsecured phones. should they recommend the policymakers encrypt their unclassified phone conversations? mr. evanina: yes, senator. senator wyden: thank you. i hope you will think some more about this matter that has been raised by z.t.e. 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 bill from the standpoint of counterintelligence, cybersecurity, 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 z.t.e., phone? mr. evanina: no. >> sensitive, whether in commerce or in government or in contracting use a z.t.e. phone? mr. evanina: no, i would not. enator rubio: there is a hysteria, not just unique to z.t.e., but it's a fact, is it not china, china utilizes its telecommunication companies for purposes of espionage even if the company isn't open to it, they don't have a -- mr. evanina: there is a factor. senator rubio: made in china 2025 is an endeavor by the chinese government to dominate the top zeal in the 21st century, telecommunications, biospace, medicine, etc. if they achieve that because they have better ideas, outinnovate us, that's one thing.
that's not how they're pursuing it. how they're pursuing it is they're stealing intellectual property, reverse engineering, the transfer of intellectual property. there is a strategic aim on the part of the chinese government to steal the commercial, intellectual property of this country in order to advance themselves into the position of dominance in these key fields, is that not something that is pretty clear? mr. evanina: that's correct, senator. senator rubio: that poses a national security threat, like our shipbuilding capacity is important to the military hardware, aerospace, is our technological capacity in the private sector. if we lose the high ground and another nation is dominant because they cheated their way into that position, does that not pose a direct national security threat to the united states? mr. evanina: it does, senator. as i mentioned, our economic security is our national security. senator rubio: now, i want to talk about a separate topic that i don't believe has ever been discussed before. certainly not today. s a you know we live -- as you know we live in an environment, false claims, even totally
preposterous, can be spread on social media and the media under tremendous pressure to deliver clicks on their website or ratings on their television station through outrage are quick to jump on that. i raise that because of the concept of something called deep fakes. are you familiar with that term? mr. evanina: i am not. senator rubio: it's an idea to manipulate south images nike something sound like a person did something they didn't do. they are realistic. the quality of these fakes is rapidly increasing due to artificial intelligence, machine learning algorithm are paired with facial mapping to insert a face into a video and produce a very realistic video of someone saying or doing something which they didn't. this is widely available on the internet and people used it for all sorts of nefarious purposes at the individual level. i think you can only imagine what a nation state can do with
that technology. foreign intelligence agencies could use deep fakes to produce a fake video of an american politician. using the racial epithet or taking a bribe or anything of that nature, they could take a fake video of a soldier massacring civilians overseas or use it to do a conspiracy theory of some are kind. a fake video of a person discussing some sort of impending disaster that could so panic. imagine a compelling video like this produced on the eve of an election or few days before a major public policy decision with a culture that's already -- has already a built in bias towards believing outrageous things, a media that's quick to promulgate it and spread it and, of course, 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 analytical analysis and by then the election is over and millions have seen an image they want to believe because of their preconceived bias of that individual. you never heard of that term but i ask you, is there any work to be done to begin to confront the threat that will be posed in my view by the ability to produce realistic looking fake video and audio that could be used to cause all sorts of chaos in our country? mr. evanina: thank you, senator rubio, for that question and the answer is yes, the law enforcement community is working to understand not only the complexities of our adversaries but what we may face going forward. particularly with the election this fall as well as in 2020. >> mr. evanina, welcome.
the d.o.d. has recently banned sales of z.t.e. phones at military exchanges as well as wallway equipment. and last month, the commerce department banned china's smartphone maker z.t.e. from using u.s. technology after it illegally shipped u.s. goods to both iran and to north korea. senator heinrich: this comes after numerous intelligence community warnings that z.t.e. poses a major cybersecurity threat. yet, as we saw this week, president trump announced he's working with the chinese president to give z.t.e., quote a way to get back into business fast, end quote. do you assess that z.t.e. represents an economic or security threat to the united states? mr. evanina: thank you for the question, senator. i believe the intelligence community and law enforcement is clearly on the record both in the public and in classified settings with the threat from chinese telecommunications companies. senator heinrich: are you concerned from a counterintelligence perspective that -- does it make sense to
overrule the advice and judgment of the national security community and to offer z.t.e. a way to get back into business fast? mr. evanina: thank you, senator. i believe our role in the intelligence community is provide the relevant facts of the issue and investigations to the policymakers for their decisionmaking processes. senator heinrich: how are you raising these facts with the white house? mr. evanina: we're garnering the support of the intelligence community. we had a meeting recently as yesterday at the white house. senator heinrich: if china believes we will use national security matters as bargaining chips in trade negotiations, how do you think that will impact their behavior moving forward? mr. evanina: senator, thank you for the question. i am not an expert on the chinese diplomatic processes but i can tell you that our national security is first and foremost in our perspective and the whole country approach posed by country clearly makes it difficult for us to bifurcate the issues.
senator heinrich: so two months ago the f.b.i. issued a rare public alert about a large scale russian cybercampaign 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 have compromised and a list of protection measures. what's happened since may, 2018 -- sorry -- march of this year when the alert went out, and is this russian cyber campaign ongoing? mr. evanina: senator, thank you for the question. i agree the pervasive threat from the russian government continues today and will in the future. the federal government, specifically the intelligence community, federal law enforcement, d.h.s., have been working with the private sector every day. in fact, ncsc, we brought only in department of energy but
major companies in fuel, gas, oil, gave them a classified briefing of the threat and help them mitigate those issues back in their home facilities. senator heinrich: did that include utilities? mr. evanina: it did. senator heinrich: are we getting utility leadership to the clearance process fast enough? mr. evanina: i am not sure about that, senator. i have to get back to you with respect to the speed that it's occurring. senator heinrich: i know that's a concern and senator warner brought up the overall issue. one of the things we heard on the energy and natural resources committee is 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 who are 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. mr. evanina: thank you, senator. i believe working closely with d.h.s., they are working diligently to provide an expeditious process to get individuals and companies cleared so they can receive this threat information on a real-time basis. senator heinrich: you said continuous evaluation is not the future. it's now and 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? what can we do about that? mr. evanina: thank you, senator, for the question. continuous evaluation has been constant bedrock in the intelligence community for years. we've he been asked to do at ncsc from ogni and this committee to have a program for the rest of the executive branch and we have done that. we are probably 80% complete, ahead of schedule. hopefully to be fully 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 in our continuous evaluation plan. senator heinrich: thank you, mr. evanina. thank you, mr. chair. >> thanks for being here and for going through this process and thank you for your years of service leading up to this. it's exceptionally valuable to the country. senator lankford: you made several things i want you to drill down a little bit deeper. you made this statement, a growing set of threat actors are capable of using cyberoperations to remotely access traditional 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 there but you're making a recommendation. mr. evanina: thank you for that question, senator lankford. i believe we as a nation need to be more in the true public-private partnership of those out in the country who makes things and build things, financial networks that are the bedrock of our nation. the government needs to partner
in a very, very close manner so they can understand the threat and provide efforts to help mitigate that threat. senator lankford: what does that look like, a public-private partnership, are you talking government dictating how it will work in the private industry and the private industry sets a set of standards, what entity do you think that does that and how does it happen efficiently? mr. evanina: i believe it's a combination starting with d.h.s. what we do is provide the sliver of counterintelligence threat to not only the d.h.s. and department of energy as well as all the companies so they can understand the who and why and what's happening and help other federal organizations and regulators provide mitigations to those. if i believe those companies out there providing the services don't understand the threat and how it's manifested, they can't be in position to prevent it. senator lankford: what's the best way to get information about the threat? pipeline company in oklahoma, what's the best way for me to determine what's the real threats that are coming at me? mr. evanina: through the
department of energy as well as ferc, regulatory for that organization, we work very closely with to provide the information and i believe that process is pretty effective. senator lankford: talk about hiring and retaining individuals for the people. you got a lot of competition. getting some of the best folks. we got some incredible patriots there because of the love for the country and the respect for rule of law. what are you seeing right now for hiring and retaining individuals for the future? mr. evanina: 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 our mission in the intelligence community will win the day. the challenge is getting them in the door, as we spoke of. i believe the mission will keep them in for long periods of time. the security clearance process has been the -- undergoing of the business process re-engineering will help get the individuals in the door quicker, more expeditious, not only in the government but in
the private sector. senator lankford: you had a nice long hesitation on the security process which all of us have incredible frustrations at the desk and doing the hiring. what is the right length of time to be able to get through a security clearance? because we will do a good security clearance but right now it's a ridiculous amount of time. what's the right amount of time. mr. evanina: senator, it's a trick question. i believe the secret clearance and below, department of defense, i think in the in state we should be able to clear 80% to 90% of those within 30 days. senator lankford: how long will it take to get to that spot, do you think? mr. evanina: with my partners watching closely here, i would have to say within the next two years we'll get to that as official policy and implementation. it's a little bit complicated than top secret as you are aware but we are working on those metrics. senator lankford: most are not going through top secret starting out at clearance. 30 days, 45 days is a reasonable time to go through a
secret clearance. what is the time right now for clearance? mr. evanina: it's closer to 100 days, sir. senator lankford: 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, in your written statement. your concerns continue to rise towards a russia threat. we're partnering with d.h.s. my question to you is not about the threat. it's about how we're responding to it. what's the current level of cooperation between you and d.h.s. preparing for those threats? because d.h.s. has the lead. mr. evanina: d.h.s. has been a great partner, not only with the intelligence side but the direct interface with the state and local with respect to the election process which elections are local. we've been working really closely with them bringing intelligence community to service d.h.s. and provide real up-to-date threat information like we've never done before so d.h.s. can manifest that information, provide mitigation strategies for all elections at
the local level. senator lankford: cooperation, communication between d.h.s. and y'all are consistent right now? mr. evanina: that's correct. senator lankford: thank you. i yield back. >> mr. evanina, welcome. delighted to have you here today and appreciate the service that you provided. . nator king: this is a very
serious challenge. that brings me to your comment page --question 16 of the prehearing questions, you said i remain concerned that 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? mr. evanina: thank you, senator. i would say anyone in my profession for intelligence community would underestimate the potential of the russian federation, putin, or intelligence services and their capabilities. more importantly their intent. i think what we saw in the last election cycle their intent is there. the first statement, that opportunity for us, analytical community, federal government, to provide enhanced training and awareness of the deep fake and partner op with the private sector and social media companies to understand the capability of our adversaries. senator king: the ultimate
defense is for our public to understand when they are being conned. for them to be -- realize where this is coming from. i think sources are very important. 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 ewlecks? mr. evanina: i do not. senator king: thank you. i also want to emphasize a point that's been made several times before. the clearance backlog is an enormous problem. my frustration is i can't find out a single point, the single point in the united states government that's in charge of solving this problem. i know it's not you, but you are in a key position. i believe that in order to solve it it's going to take -- i keep hearing whole of government. whenever i hear whole of government i think that means none of government.
somebody's got to be in charge. i hope that you will urge the administration, i.c., d.n.i. to take charge of this issue so that it's not scattered all over the government. we've got to solve t we had testimony something like 950,000 security clearances in backlog. and we're losing good people. there's an opportunity cost there. it's just unacceptable in terms of our ability to defend the country. i hope you will take on as part of your mission pushing for the -- an organizational response to this where there's some central responsibility and accountability for this. mr. evanina: thank you, senator. we in the government look at the national intelligence as the security executive agent for this process. i believe and government believes through executive order he is accountable for the policies set forth how we conduct investigations, and by virtue as executor of that
program, i believe that a responsibility lies with me. senator king: when i was in business i tried to formulate contracts and relationships so you had one throat to choke. that was the way you could get things done. on this question of cyber security and the attacks on our country n. my view and the view of many of -- country, in my view and the view of many of us, one of the fundamental problems in our response is it's purely defensive. we're simply trying to patch our way out of this problem. and that there is no deterrent, there is no cyber doctrine or sishe strategy that -- cyber strategy that will dever our strategies. we had testimony from the armed services that nothing we have done would, quote, change the calculus of our adversaries. do you believe this is an area we need to do more work in and develop a public deterrence strategy so those who intend to attack us through cyber, just
as they would through ken netic, believe they will -- kenetic, believe they will and certainly pay a price? mr. evanina: do i, sir. senator king: expand on that a bit. mr. evanina: number one i think our adversaries need to know our deterrence policy is real and will manifest itself in their home base. we owe it to the american people to understand the government has policies and procedures in place to protect them, private industry from the cyber threats we face. i concur, we need to be a little bit more effective and efficient with our policies. senator king: i hope you will help us develop that strategy. otherwise we're just going to continue to be chipped at way -- chipped away at. we're looked on as a free lunch. i appreciate your testimony. senator warner: i want to ecowhat senator king has said. -- echo what senator king has said.
i was again disappointed it appears the national security council is now trying to eliminate the cyber position in the white house direct report to the president. that does not send the right signal. thank you very much for your testimony. look forward to working with you. senator burr: i have to admit i was questioning whether senator king's going to be vote quoth interested this hearing about a cyber doctrine or one throat to choke. i know which way it's goin i know which way it's going to go. senator king: i realized i was taking the risk as the words were leaving. senator burr: i think we have exhausted questions, director. thank you. i thank your family, again, for your willingness to serve. let i know which way it's going to go. senator king: i realized i was taking the risk as the words members, g. me note for q.f.r.'s 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 members, q.f.r.'s floor as quickly as we with that, our thanks for your
>> the house gaveling back in at 2:00 p.m. eastern time. on the agenda today, several bills on law enforcement coinciding with national police week. including one that would aim to speed up d.n.a. testing of evidence from crime scenes. another would require federal prisons to provide employees a location to store their personal firearms while on toda
establish the home where civil rights leader medger a location personal firearms while on duty. and legislation to authorize a survey on how many law enforcement officers are working in u.s. schools. also evers was assassinated as a national historical monument. later in the week, the house kes up the farm bill which sets farm subsidies for five years. when the house gavels back in at 2:00, find live congress here on c-span. >> connect with c-span to personalize the information you get from us. just go to c-span.org/connect and sign up for the email. the program guide is a daily email with the most updated prime time schedule. and upcoming live coverage. word for word gives you the most interesting daily video highlight in their own words with no commentary. the book tv newsletter sent weekly is an insider's look at upcoming authors and book festivals. and the american history tv weekly newsletter gives you the upcoming programming exploring our nation's past. visit c-span.org/connect and sign up today.
sunday, on "q&a," university of virginia history professor, william hitchcock, on his book "the age of eisenhower, america and the world in the 1950's." >> i call it the disciplined presidency. eisenhower and wait he carried himself and the man he was was a disciplined man, great athlete when he was young. an organized man in every respect. very methodical. that's how he ran the white house, too. he was extremely organized. a lot of people, especially the senator, future president john senator, future president john kennedy, criticized eisenhower's dodgyness for being so disciplined and organized and predictable. but for eisenhower, it meant that when crises came, had he a plan. he knew how to respond. he knew who to turn to. he used to say plans are worthless, but planning is everything. so you are always thinking what's over the hill?
what crisis might erupt? we should be thinking about it. so he was very systematic in the way he governed. he met the press every week. congressional leaders every week. he chaired the national security council every week. he was -- had he his thumb on the government -- he had his thumb on the government. he prussed the process. he believed -- he trusted the process. he believed the federal government could work well. >> "q&a," sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span. >> wednesday morning, we're live in bismarck, north dakota, for the next stop on the c-span bus 50 capitals tour. north dakota governor will be our guest on the bus during "washington journal" starting at 9:30 a.m. eastern. >> while we wait for the house to return at 2:00 eastern time, a discussion about autism. "washington journal." " continues. host: