Top intelligence chiefs accept conclusion Russian Federation hacked election

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"In addition to the HVE threat, a small number of foreign-based Sunni violent extremist groups will also pose a threat to the U.S. homeland and continue publishing multilingual propaganda that calls for attacks against United States and Western interests in the USA homeland and overseas", said the assessment.

Coats, a former senator from IN, was nominated as director of national intelligence IN January by the incoming president.

Iran continues to perform key research and development on nuclear missile capabilities despite the landmark nuclear agreement with Western powers, according to the last US intelligence assessments. Coats declined to provide such details in an open hearing.

Daniel Coats, Director of US National Intelligence, claimed a large amount of America's spy resources has been dedicated to "solving" the problem posed by Pyongyang.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo, also testifying, said that China has been exerting pressure on North Korea "in a way that they have not made before" and has significantly cut coal imports from the country.

Mr. Coats told the panel: "We assess that Russian Federation is likely to be more aggressive in foreign global affairs, more unpredictable in its approach to the United States, and more authoritarian in its approach to domestic policies and politics".

"Afghanistan will struggle to curb its dependence on external support until it contains the insurgency or reaches a peace agreement with the Taliban", Coats told lawmakers in presenting an annual assessment of threats to United States national security.

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Dan Coats said the unprecedented nuclear and missile testing past year indicates that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is intent on proving North Korea's capability.

For the Trump Administration, facing a question whether to increase the United States troop levels in Afghanistan, this can't be good news.

The deal has enhanced transparency of Iran's nuclear activities, Coats said, and he cited Obama administration estimates that the time it would take Iran to produce enough material for a nuclear weapon has been extended from a few months to about a year. The performance of Afghan national security forces will worsen due to weak military leadership, desertions and combat casualties, he predicted. "We do not know whether Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons".

Coats testimony was part of a list that included the interim Federal Bureau of Investigation director, Andrew McCabe, who spoke in lieu of his fired former boss, James Comey.

The U.S. intelligence chief said Thursday North Korea poses a potentially "existential threat" to the United States with its growing nuclear and missile capabilities.

"Kabul's political dysfunction and ineffectiveness will nearly certainly be the greatest vulnerability to stability in 2017", he wrote.

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