NSA leaker bust gets weirder: Senator claims hacking is wider than leak revealed

Intelligence Committee member says Russian hacked lots of US States, some don't know it yet

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The strange tale of former NSA contractor Reality Winner just got stranger, after a US senator alleged the information she leaked about Russian hacking under-stated the extent of Russia's activities.

Speaking to USA Today in the video below, Virginia senator Mark Warner, the senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said “the extent of the attacks is much broader than has been reported so far.”

Warner said “several” US states' election-management systems were targeted by Russian interests, but that not all of them know about the attacks.

“We need to declassify more of that information,” he said, so that American citizens can understand the extent of the attacks. With a nod to president Donald Trump's insistence his campaign received no Russian assistance, Warner said he wants to release the information “not to re-litigate 2016” [the presidential election] but in order to ensure future US elections can be defended against similar attacks.

“We do not believe there was any interference in actual voting machines or the final tally,” senator Warner said, adding “I do not believe they got into changing actual voting outcomes.”

Warner's allegations are merely the late afternoon Russian hacking allegation. Earlier in the day, CNN reported suspected Russian fake news plants precipitated the crisis that has seen several Arab states impose sanctions on Qatar. The crisis is significant because Qatar hosts the USA's most significant middle-east air base, but has now been labelled a sponsor of terrorism by its neighbours. President Trump has Tweeted that Qatar is likely a source of “radical ideology”. ®

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