Nielsen downplays 2018 Russia election threat

PHILADELPHIA¬†– The U.S. homeland security secretary says there are no signs Russia is targeting the 2018 midterm elections for cyberattacks with the “scale and scope” it used in 2016.

Kristjen Nielsen spoke Saturday at a Philadelphia conference of U.S. state secretaries of state from across the country.

Nielsen’s boss, President Donald Trump, has not said Russia tried to influence the 2016 elections, and Russia has denied interfering. Trump is scheduled to meet Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But Nielsen said Friday’s indictments of 12 Russian intelligence officers on charges of election-related hacking show the federal government won’t tolerate incursions.

Nielsen says there’s intelligence Russia is using social media to foster “divisiveness” among the American people. She says local election officials should reach out for help if they need it.