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Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is sworn in to the House Intelligence Committee task force on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 21, 2017, as part of the Russia investigation. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Jeh Johnson said Putin orchestrated cyberattacks on the election but didn't alter results



Former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin did in fact orchestrate cyberattacks targeting the 2016 U.S. election.

Johnson released a six-page prepared statement Tuesday that detailed the committee's investigation into Russian meddling and called out Putin for attempting to influence the election.

"To my current knowledge, the Russian government did not through any cyber-intrusion alter ballots, ballot counts or reporting of election results," Johnson said in his prepared remarks.  

"I am not in a position to know whether the successful Russian government-directed hacks of the DNC and elsewhere did in fact alter public opinion and thereby alter the outcome of the presidential election."

Johnson said Russian meddling became a top priority for him in summer of 2016. He said there was an ongoing dialogue in the department beforehand.

He added that it was the reports that DHS was receiving about efforts to hack into the DNC that made the issue a "front burner" one.

Johnson told Rep. Peter King (R-NY) that when he learned about the hacking, he asked officials what they were doing to "minimize the damage." Johnson said DHS was on site to patch up the issues.

Some enjoyed Johnson's testimony.

Others thought he made things worse. 

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