DHS Sec. Nielsen: Russia, Other Nations Attempting to 'Manipulate' Americans Before Elections
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen reacted Tuesday to breaking news from Facebook, which announced it has uncovered new "sophisticated" efforts, possibly linked to Russia, believed to be aimed at American voters ahead of the midterm elections.
The company said 32 Facebook and Instagram accounts were removed because they were involved in "coordinated" political behavior and appeared to be fake. Sources on Capitol Hill told Fox News' Mike Emanuel that the Russians were behind the efforts.
Nielsen told Dana Perino that she considers it "good news" that Facebook is taking action and taking the threats seriously, applauding the company for moving quickly.
"This threat is very real and Americans need to know that. ... Russians and other nation states are absolutely attempting to manipulate us," she said, adding she has not seen the intelligence firsthand but has no "reason to believe" Russia was not behind the efforts.
Nielsen said DHS protects election infrastructure, working with local and state authorities, and she believes "great strides" have been made in the past year to safeguard the elections in Novembers. She said more must be done to prevent foreign influence campaigns.
Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election, along with potential coordination with the Trump campaign, is being investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Watch the full interview above.