Politics

White House: 'Significant Resources' to Protect Election Systems

Obama administration has accused Russia of meddling in U.S. elections

President Barack Obama's administration accused Russia of meddling with U.S. elections on Friday. The White House said the federal government is working with states to secure election systems. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The federal government is throwing "significant resources" at states' voting systems to protect them from Russian attempts to influence U.S. elections, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday.

Homeland Security officials are working with 30 states, but Americans should be confident with the "durability" of the systems, he said.

Leaked documents from groups like Wikileaks reflect tactics that are "consistent with Russia-backed efforts" to destabilize elections in other countries, Earnest added.  

The shift of resources comes after the U.S. recently ended negotiations with Russia over joint operations in Syria. On Friday, the Obama administration accused Russian hackers of meddling in U.S. elections.  

The administration urged "state and local election officials to be vigilant and seek cybersecurity assistance" from the Department of Homeland Security, Earnest said.

"We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities," Jeh Johnson, the secretary of Homeland Security, and James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, said in a statement.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied any hand in the cyberattacks. 

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