Senate's Russia Probe Holding Hearing Focused on Disinformation Tactics

Rubio, who did not immediately respond to Watts' claim, later confirmed that former members of his presidential campaign team were targeted by IP addresses that traced back to an unknown location within Russian Federation.

Marco Rubio was the surprise focus on the first day of Senate Intelligence Committee hearings on Russian Federation.

Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioRubio: Former campaign aides targeted by IP address in Russia Live coverage: Senate intel holds first public Russia hearing Republicans giving Univision the cold shoulder: report MORE (R-Fla.) revealed Thursday that former members of his presidential campaign team were targeted by IP addresses located in Russia.

Clinton Watts, a national security expert with the George Washington Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee in Washington on Thursday that suspected Russian trolling operations and websites tried to influence the presidential race long before the summer.

That assessment came from Clint Watts with the Foreign Policy Research Institute, who said Paul Ryan was also targeted.

Rid conducted an analysis of the phishing links used to access the email accounts of DNC staffers and found that Russian intelligence officials targeted 6,730 people with approximately 19,315 links over the course of a year, Motherboard reports.

And he says the Russians continue to interfere in US politics, specifically targeting House Speaker Paul Ryan of late.

"This past week we observed social media campaigns targeting speaker of the House Paul Ryan hoping to foment further unrest amongst USA democratic institutions", Watts told the committee.

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They did so at a time when the House Intelligence Committee, also pursuing an investigation of Russian involvement in the election, has effectively ground to halt with Democratic members accusing the Republican chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., of undermining the investigation by working on Trump's behalf. James Lankford (Okla.), who asked why Russian President Vladimir Putin believed he could get away with interfering in last year's US elections. Richard Burr, R-N.C., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 29, 2017, to d.

Rubio did not return to the subject when he questioned the expert witnesses later in the hearing.

"We need to follow the money", Wyden said.

There is a brighter spotlight on the Senate committee to investigate Russian meddling in the election as its House counterpart has shattered along partisan lines, and even some Republicans calling on the Senate panel to lead Congress' probe.

Since that hearing, the House investigation has descended into chaos, but Senate investigators have stuck to a steady pace, largely ignoring their House colleagues.

The White House will now share information with the ranking Democrats on the intelligence committees.

President Donald Trump's son-in-law and close confidant Jared Kushner has volunteered to appear before the committee, an offer that the Senators have accepted. Burr said that five of those interviews have been set, and the remaining 15 will be scheduled in the next 10 days.

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